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Successful first Six Nations weekend for Academy players on U20 duty

Successful first Six Nations weekend for Academy players on U20 duty
The Gloucester Rugby Academy had three players on U20 international duty in the opening round of Six Nations fixtures this weekend – George Barton, Jack Clement (both England) and Stephen Varney (Italy) - and all three finished on the winning side.

Varney was the first to see action on Friday evening, as he started for Italy U20s against Wales U20s in Colwyn Bay.

The scrum-half, son of former Neath flanker Adrian, was starting against the country of his birth, qualifying for Italy courtesy of his mother Valeria.

And Varney, who trained with the Gloucester Rugby first team squad last summer before taking part in the Premiership Rugby 7s, certainly caught the eye as Italy came away with an impressive 17-7 victory on the night.

Don’t just take our word for it, here’s what Simon Thomas of Wales Online had to say, with the Tweet below after the game had finished.

Varney was named Man of the Match and marshalled his pack superbly. He obviously enjoys playing against Wales, having scored two tries for Italy U18s against their Welsh counterparts last year.



Meanwhile, on Saturday evening, England U20s left it until very last minute to their Six Nations campaign off to a winning start with a 29-24 bonus-point win over France in Grenoble.

Jack Clement and George Barton were both in the matchday 23 for England, both named as replacements, although only Clement saw competitive action on the day.

England featured nine debutants at U20 level and, with just a minute remaining Richard Capstick bundled over after England went through several phases to seal victory.

Both Italy and England are on the road again next weekend in round two , Italy travelling to France and England to Scotland.
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