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Tom Palmer

Tom Palmer

Key Facts

SquadLondon Wasps
Height2m (6'7")
Weight116kg (18st 3lb)


After being in and around England squads for ten seasons, Tom Palmer reappeared off the bench after a two-year absence against France in Paris in March 2010 and became a regular choice. He played in the 2011 RWC matches against Georgia, Romania and France, together with the 13-6 win over Scotland at Murrayfield and the 19-15 victory over Italy in Rome in February 2012.

England's 21-20 triumph in the second international at Sydney in June 2010 was special for Tom, who not only won the line-out that produced a sparkling try by Ben Youngs but also supplied the subtle inside pass that sent Chris Ashton to the line. A shrewd line-out tactician with agility to match, he led England briefly, when winning his 40th cap, after Dylan Hartley was shown a yellow card in the third Test against South Africa at Port Elizabeth last year. He returned to London Wasps last season on a two-year contract.

His exploits include charging down the kick by France scrum half Dimitri Yachvili that led to Ben Foden scoring the try that gave England a 17-9 victory at Twickenham at the end of February 2011. Tom was named as the RBS 6 Nations Man of the Match for his all-round excellence.

A newcomer to Stade Français in 2009-10, Tom had played his most recent Test against South Africa in the autumn of 2008 just before sustaining a shoulder injury in a Premiership match for London Wasps against Saracens. It required surgery that ruled him out of the 2009 RBS 6 Nations Championship.

He signed for Wasps three years earlier after eight seasons with Leeds Carnegie, who were then known as the Tykes. During that time he had not only became their first international player but also the club’s youngest captain.

Tom was initially identified as a lock of outstanding promise by Phil Davies, the Leeds director of rugby at the time but a series of injuries have interrupted his career.

His first England cap was as a National One player with the Tykes, for whom he appeared 188 times, having emerged from a cosmopolitan background. Tom, who was born in Harringay, began as a mini player when five with Barnet Elizabethans before studying at Boroughmuir High School in Scotland.

Some of his younger days were spent in Kenya and while at Otago Boys’ High, he represented New Zealand Schools before returning to the UK, studying Physics at Leeds University and representing Scotland U19 and U21 before opting for England.

Tom’s A team debut was alongside Steve Borthwick in the 6-6 draw with Scotland A at Stirling in February 2002. It was the first of his four consecutive matches at that level in a career also bringing him success with Wasps, hallmarked by the 25-9 Heineken Cup triumph over Leicester Tigers at Twickenham in 2007.

International Record

2001 USA(R) 2006 Arg(R), SA, SA 2007 It(R), I(R), F, W 2008 NZ(1,2), PI(R), A, SA 2010 F(R), A(1,2), NZ, A, Sam, SA 2011 W, It, F, S, I, W, W(R), I(R) World Cup - Arg(R), G, R, S(R), F 2012 S, It, F(R), I(R), SA (1R,2R,3), Fj, A

Last updated: July 8, 2013

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