A TEENAGE rugby star from the hamlet of Rhoshill between Cardigan and Crymych could be the subject of a tug-of-war between Italy and Wales.

Stephen Lorenzo Varney, a former pupil at Ysgol y Preseli, is making quite a name or himself with Gloucester in the Aviva English Premiership, the scrum-half having recently scored three tries in as many games against Bristol, Worcester and European champions Saracens.

A few years ago, the 19-year-old gave up rugby to concentrate on golf, but after going to Hartpury College in Gloucestershire to study sport science he resumed in the sport and was snapped up by Gloucester and also Italy.

The son of former Neath and Aberavon openside flanker and Coleg Ceredigion lecturer Adrian Varney, the rising star qualifies for Italy through his Italian mother Valerie.

His skill and vision to see space brought him to the attention of the Italian Rugby Federation who invited him to a training camp in Treviso in October 2018 and he was capped against France, scoring a try on his debut.

With Gareth Davies and Rhys Webb vying to be first choice for Wales, the third scrum-half spot is up for grabs due to Tomos Williams being ruled out by shoulder surgery.

And with Varney excelling on the opposite side of the Severn Bridge, many shrewd followers believe it is only a matter of time before Wales come in for the north Pembrokeshire base of the scrum operator.

It begs the question why Varney slipped through the net at junior level in Wales, but despite being a member of the Italian under 20s squad is still eligible for his native country at senior level.

If the call does come in from Wales coach Wayne Pivac, the teenager will have to decide whether to accept or feel he owes loyalty to Italy.