A former Crymych rugby player will be going to the Rugby World Cup in France after being named in Italy's final squad.

Stephen Varney, from Rhoshill, a former pupil at Ysgol Preseli, has been named in head coach Kieran Crowley's 33-man squad for next month's competition.

The 22-year-old scrum half - who qualifies for Italy through his mother Valeria - had featured in the warm-up game for Italy against Ireland on August 5, but was injured during the game.

Welsh-speaker Varney, who plays his club rugby at Gloucester, was in the starting line up for Italy's 42-21 warm up match win against Japan on Saturday, for his 21st cap.

The son of former Neath and Aberavon openside flanker Adrian Varney, he will be hoping to start in the first group match against Namibia on September 9.

Varney is one of four scrum halves in the Italy squad, meaning there will be some competition for the starting spot.

Crowley said: "It was not easy to arrive at the choice of thirty-three athletes called up for the Rugby World Cup and all the players who participated in the preparation worked in the best possible way.

"Making decisions is our job and our responsibility and that's what we did by selecting what we believe to be the best Italy possible.

"In the final selection, the ability of some athletes, both forwards and backs, to play more than one role, had a significant specific weight, allowing us to expand the choices available to us."

Meanwhile Newcastle Emlyn rugby stars Gareth Davies and Gareth Thomas have both been selected as part of Wales’ 33-man squad for next month’s World Cup in France.

Scrum half Davies, 33, will be looking to add to his 69 caps as scrum half in his third Rugby World Cup and prop Thomas, 29, is looking to add to his 22 caps when he gets an opportunity in the pack.

“The toughest part of the job is always selection and this is particularly the case when it comes to picking a Rugby World Cup squad,” said head coach Warren Gatland.

“Over the past three months the whole group of 48 players in the wider training squad has been outstanding in terms of attitude and effort.

"So having to reduce the squad down to the final 33 has been really hard and there have been some close final decisions in the last 36 hours.

“We have a few more training sessions here in Wales before we depart for France on 3 September and we cannot wait to get out there and get started in this tournament.

“This will be a very proud moment for these players, their families and friends and I’d like to congratulate them all on the achievement.”

Drawn in Pool C, Wales’ Rugby World Cup campaign in France begins against Fiji in Bordeaux on Saturday, 10 September, ko 8pm.

The squad then travels to Nice to play Portugal on Saturday 16 September, before facing Australia in Lyon on Sunday, 24 September, and Georgia in Nantes on Saturday, 7 October.