Stephen Varney called up to the Italy squad

Stephen Vardy selected for Italy squad

Pembrokeshire-born Gloucester scrum-half Stephen Varney has been called up for the first time by Italy for the Six Nations games against Ireland and England later this month.

The 19-year-old who grew up in Rhoshill, a few miles from Cardigan. The teenager qualifies for the Azzurri through his mother Valeria, his father Adrian was a former well renowned Neath flanker.

Talented Varney is one of six players to move up from Italy's Under-20 set-up. The teenager was named man of the match in Italy's Under-20 win against Wales in Colwyn Bay in January 2020.

Varney will compete for a starting berth with former Gloucester teammate Callum Braley, now at Treviso, and Zebre's Marcello Violi. 

Smith named a 33-man preliminary squad, including seven newcomers, for postponed fixtures against the Irish on October 24 in Dublin and England on October 31 in Rome.