SCRUM-HALF Stephen Varney, who is a former pupil at Ysgol y Preseli in Crymych, has been named in the Italy squad as they prepare for their Guinness Six Nations Round Four clash with Wales.

The 19 year-old had missed the round three game against Ireland after dislocating his finger in the warm-up, but the youngster has been included in the squad to face the country of his birth.

He had started against both France and England in this year’s Six Nations Tournament, but was ruled out of the round three clash with Ireland, when he dislocated a finger during the warm up.

Gloucester head coach George Skivington said on Varney’s return to the Club: “He hurt his finger, which doesn’t sound too traumatic, so hopefully it’s not - but he was certainly uncomfortable.

“I spoke to him on Saturday night (after his injury), and he was certainly in a bit of discomfort, but things like that can turn around relatively quickly, and we are hoping that he will be fine.”

Varney has already beaten Wales at Under 18s and Under 20s level, and now the Welsh-speaking teenager will to be hoping to halt Wayne Pivac side’s march to a potential 13th Grand Slam.

Varney – whose middle name is Lorenzo - has already won five senior caps for the Azzurri and made his first start for the senior Italian side against Wales at Parc y Scarlets in the Autumn Nations Cup.

Italy head coach Franco Smith is hoping his side can find a way to end a run of 30 successive defeats in the tournament - their last victory came in 2015 at Murrayfield when they beat Scotland 22-19.

Originally from Rhoshill, near Cardigan, Varney won the Welsh Schools U16s Cup for Ysgol y Preseli in 2017, and came through the junior ranks Crymych RFC, before becoming a professional player.

The Welsh-speaking 19 year-old, who is the son of former Neath and Aberavon flanker Adrian Varney, made his senior Test debut as a replacement against Scotland in Florence last autumn.

Like him, his mother was also born in west Wales, but both of her parents were born in Italy, hence his eligibility to play for the Azzurri – and he has seized the chance on the international stage.