A LOCAL rugby player will be taking to the field in the Rugby World Cup for Italy’s final group game of the tournament tonight.

Stephen Varney will be retaining his scrum-half spot for the fixture against France, which is a must-win if Italy want to extend their World Cup hopes.

The 22-year-old from Rhoshill, will be hoping Italy do not put on a repeat performance of the 96-17 lost in last week’s game against New Zealand as to have any hope of qualifying, Italy need to win by at least seven points whilst opponents France will be hoping to qualify for the quarter finals with four wins from four games.

 Head coach Kieran Crowley said: “Our focus will be on our performance. We worked during the week thinking about our next commitment. We want to honour our identity as a team and try to take the next step.”

Italy team to take on France at OL Stadium, Lyon on Friday, October 6 (8pm BST, live on ITV): 15 Ange Capuozzo, 14 Pierre Bruno, 13 Juan Ignacio Brex, 12 Paolo Garbisi, 11 Montanna Ioane, 10 Tommaso Allan, 9 Stephen Varney, 8 Lorenzo Cannone, 7 Michele Lamaro, 6 Sebastian Negri, 5 Federico Ruzza, 4 Niccolo Cannone, 3 Pietro Ceccarelli, 2 Ephalahame Faiva, 1 Simone Ferrari.

Replacements: 16 Marco Manfredi, 17 Federico Zani, 18 Marco Riccioni, 19 David Sisi, 20 Manuel Zuliani, 21 Alessandro Fusco, 22 Luca Morisi, 23 Lorenzo Pani.