Former England winger now plays in the fifth tier aged 37 - Ruck

Former England winger now plays in the fifth tier aged 37

Former England winger Tom Varndell had a try-scoring debut as he touched down the crucial score in Oxford Harlequins 24-17 win against Bracknell.

The 37-year-old winger has had a glittering career which has seen him lift the Premiership title twice, represent his country in different formats of the game and set some individual records, notably as the top tier’s leading try scorer for a time.

Varndell made a standout debut as he scored the decisive score for Quins, who play in the London and South East Premier. It’s certainly a far cry from Twickenham.

The former Leicester Tigers, Wasps and four-time England-capped player was more than ready to draw a line under his professional career. It was never going to be the end for him on a rugby pitch though.

“I was up at Yorkshire Carnegie for a little bit and the season was cut short due to obvious reasons,” he told the Free Press.

“I have actually got into sports management and sports agency looking after other players and that is pretty much my 9-5 job. So for me it was a case of my next chapter. However, I want to keep playing as long as I can.”

Varndell isn’t the first former England winger to ditch retirement to play in the lower tiers. Jason Robinson famously came out of retirement to help Fylde RFC to promotion during the 2010/11 season.

5 more England legends you didn’t know are still playing

A number of veteran England internationals are proving that age is just a number as they continue to play professionally into their late 30s.

#1. Mike Tindall (Minchinhampton)

  • Age: 42
  • Total caps: 75
  • Last appearance: vs Scotland (October 2010)

England legend and World Cup winner Mike Tindall plays a selection of matches for Minchinhampton, the club close to his home.  The centre played outside centre for Bath and Gloucester, and won 75 caps for England between 2000 and 2011. He was a member of the England squad which won the 2003 World Cup.

Mike Tindall Facts:

  1. Tindall is married to Zara Phillips, the daughter of Anne, Princess Royal, and the eldest granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
  2. He is regarded as one of the best players to never wear the Lions jersey, However, he did play against them as part of a Barbarians XV in 2013.
  3. Tindall, whose nose was famously broken at least eight times during his rugby career, underwent a surgery in 2018 which fixed the fractures.
  4. Mike’s sometimes nickname is “The Fridge” due to his sizeable 6ft 2inch bulk.
  5. Every year since 2013, Mike has hosted an event called ISPS HANDA Mike Tindall Celebrity Golf Classic, where several celebrities come together to raise money and awareness for disability groups and in aid of curing Parkinson’s disease