“England can’t ignore me forever” – London Wasps Tom Varndell

Tom VarndellPremiership top-try scorer Tom Varndell says he has unfinished business with England and is desperate to had to his four caps.
It’s four years since the last of those and what promised to be a bright future on the international stage dimmed following his move from Leicester to Wasps.
Now 27, the more mature Varndell  believes he is in the form of his life, and with nine tries from nine league games, he is making his case hard to ignore.
He told The Rugby Paper: “If I can keep my form and keep scoring tries, the England coaches can’t ignore me forever.
“Attacking wise, I’m definitely playing the best rugby of my career and I’d be lying if I was saying I don’t want to play for England again.
“There are a few good wingers knocking around the England squad at the moment but it’ll be nice to know if I’m in their thoughts at all and where I am in the pecking order.
“I was lucky enough to be involved in an England tour when I was 20 and, even if it was disappointing tours because we took an average team Down Under, I want to be part of it again.”
As soon as he broke into the Leicester’s first team eight years ago, aged 19, his finishing abilities were obvious – but there have been question marks over his defensive skills and game management.
Not one to hide behind excuses, Varndell admits he had to work hard to become a more rounded player and says his wing partner at Wasps Christian Wade has helped keep him on his toes.
He said: “While I get along very well with Christian, there definitely is a competition between us to score the most tries and we’re pushing each other hard.
“When I broke into the Leicester first team, I was just a fast kid who enjoyed scoring tries but I’m a much better player now.
“I’m more than a sprinter now. I make line breaks and create try-scoring opportunities for my teammates.
“With experience, my game management and positioning improved a lot as well to make me a more mature player.”
But the career of a professional rugby player is relatively short and Varndell, who could become the Premiership most prolific try scorer this season sitting just six behind Steve Hanley with 69 on the all-time list, admits he would be tempted by offers of a move to France.
He added: “If the England coaches come to me and tell me I’m not going to wear an England shirt again, I might start thinking about a move abroad.
“From what I hear this is a great life experience and the financial aspect can’t be disregarded.
“I love playing in the Premiership and the move would have to be a successful club but it’s a short career and you’ve got to look for your future and make sure your family is secure once you retire.”

Leave a Comment