Varney has become a staple of the Italian squad

Stephen Varney has become a regular starter for Italy at scrum-half.

He has skill at the breakdown and has impressive speed.

Read more: Italy Six Nations squad

Ten things you should know about Stephen Varney

1. Stephen Varney was born on 16 May 2001 in Carmarthen, Wales. He stands at 5ft 9in (1.74m) and weighs 12st 8lbs (80kg).

2. He plays for Gloucester and has also competed for Hartpury in his senior career.

3. Varney qualifies to play for Italy as both his maternal grandparents are Italian.

4. He made his debut for Italy in 2020 against Scotland after playing for Italy’s youth teams.

5. He can speak Welsh and Varney’s father is former Neath and Aberavon flanker Adrian Varney.

6. Varney spoke on what it was like to test positive for Covid during the 2020 Autumn Nations Cup. He told Wales Online: “That was not a great experience, but I didn’t have any symptoms luckily.

“The worst thing was being stuck in the room for 10 days. I had a watt bike and dumb-bells, so I kept myself busy. It was tough though and when I came out, mentally and physically, I struggled in the first training session back. I didn’t feel fit, but that was expected.”

7. As a child he played football and he was a goalkeeper.

8. His grandparents were a big influence in his childhood. He told Sportsmail: “They lived 50 metres away from my house when I was growing up. I helped my granddad on the farm and grew up in an Italian culture, eating a lot of Italian food, drinking a lot of coffee and Limoncello!

“We would have a lot of tiramisu at Christmas and all that stuff. It’s a great culture.”

9. He likes to paddleboard.

10. Varney scored early on for Italy against the world’s No 1-ranked side Ireland in their 2023 Six Nations clash in Rome.

Download the digital edition of Rugby World straight to your tablet or subscribe to the print edition to get the magazine delivered to your door.

Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.