Crymych RFC have become renonwed for producing talented young players - and one of those is Stephen Varney who is currently excelling at the Gloucester Academy.

At 17, the former Ysgol Y Preseli pupil made his professional debut against Bedford Blues, coming off the bench for English Championship side Hartpury RFC.

This was on the back of winning another AASE English Schools and College Championship for Hartpury College 26-20 against Beecham Cliff, Bath. The game was played at the home of Saracens RFC, Allianz Park.

Stephen produced a massive performance, the scrum half controlling the game from the base of the scrum and scoring the winning try at a crucial moment.

Wayne Thompson, head of rugby at Hartpury, said: "Stephen’s been a stand out player for the college this season and developing his game by making the correct decisions at the correct time. He speeds up the game with accurate kicking and service."

His season has since moved into another gear, playing for Gloucester RFC in the English Academy League.

His performance against Bristol Bears lbefore Christmas was instrumental, scoring a try and creating three others in the first 20 minutes with Gloucester winning 50-14.

His performances have been noted by the Italian Rugby Federation with Stephen being invited to Treviso for a week of training back in October, and he has recently returned from a sting of sessions with Calvasino. Bizarrely however, his performances have not been noted by the Welsh regions.

Gloucester Rugby Academy manager and England Under 20s coach Richard Whiffin believes Stephen’s development has been massive since joining Hartpury and the club.

“Stephen has excelled in his development since working within the Gloucester Academy," he said.

"His excellent skill set and vision to see space sets him out as one of our standout Under 18 academy players. I have no doubt that his drive and commitment will see him become a top professional and we look forward to seeing that development in a Gloucester rugby shirt."