Italy scrum-half Stephen Varney positive for Covid-19 ahead of Ireland fixture

The sides meet in their refixed Six Nations game next week.

Isolating: Stephen Varney.
Isolating: Stephen Varney.
Image: PA

ITALY SCRUM HALF Stephen Varney is self-isolating, having returned a positive Covid-19 test. 

The uncapped, Welsh-born player joined up with his international teammates yesterday in preparation for their Six Nations clash with Ireland in Dublin on 24 October. 

Varney, who is asymptomatic, tested negative when with his club Gloucester and is now isolating.  

“FIR has activated all the procedures envisaged and informed the health authorities, in full compliance with the regulations in force,” a statement reads.  

“The national team continues the meeting in Rome in compliance with the provisions of the health authority.”

Qualified through his mother, Varney, 19, was one of six players to move up from Italy’s under-20s set-up and was competing for a starting berth with former Gloucester teammate Callum Braley, now at Treviso, and Zebre’s Marcello Violi.

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As well as playing Ireland, Italy are scheduled to play England on 31 October in Rome.

The Azzurri fell to a 25th consecutive defeat in the tournament last time out with a 17-0 loss to Scotland in Rome in February and were set to take the wooden spoon for the 15th time when the coronavirus pandemic stopped the tournament in March.

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