Thomas Waldrom

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Thomas Waldrom
Thomas Waldrom.jpg
Waldrom playing for Leicester
Date of birth (1983-04-28) 28 April 1983 (age 36)
Place of birth Lower Hutt, New Zealand
Height1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Weight114 kg (17 st 13 lb) [1]
School St. Patrick's College, Silverstream
Notable relative(s) Scott Waldrom
Rugby union career
Position(s) Number 8
Senior career
Exeter Chiefs
Correct as of 11 September 2016
Provincial / State sides
Hawke's Bay
Super Rugby
National team(s)
2012–2013 England 5 (0)

Thomas Waldrom (born 28 April 1983) is a former rugby union player who played for Exeter Chiefs in the English Premiership and represented England from 2012 to 2013. Born in Lower Hutt, New Zealand, he qualified for England through his grandmother, winning four caps.

Rugby union Team sport, code of rugby football

Rugby union, widely known simply as rugby, is a contact team sport which originated in England in the first half of the 19th century. One of the two codes of rugby football, it is based on running with the ball in hand. In its most common form, a game is between two teams of 15 players using an oval-shaped ball on a rectangular field with H-shaped goalposts at each end.

Exeter Chiefs rugby union team

Exeter Chiefs are an English professional rugby union club based in Exeter, Devon. They play in Premiership Rugby, England's top division of rugby.

Premiership Rugby is an English professional rugby union competition. The Premiership consists of twelve clubs, and is the top division of the English rugby union system. Premiership clubs qualify for Europe's two main club competitions, the European Rugby Champions Cup and the European Rugby Challenge Cup. The team finishing at the bottom of the Premiership each season is relegated to the second division, the RFU Championship; the winner of the Championship is promoted to the Premiership.


A number 8, Waldrom's early career was spent with his native Wellington provincial team, and the Hurricanes in Super Rugby. Following one season with the Crusaders, he moved to England in 2010 to play for Leicester Tigers. Waldrom made his England debut against South Africa in 2012. He spent four seasons with the Tigers, winning the 2013 Premiership.

Super Rugby rugby union competition

Super Rugby is a professional men's rugby union competition involving teams from Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Japan. Building on various Southern Hemisphere competitions dating back to the South Pacific Championship in 1986, with teams from a number of southern nations, Super Rugby started as the Super 12 in the 1996 season with 12 teams from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. The Super 12 was established by SANZAR after the sport became professional in 1995. With the top players from nations that represent 16 of the 24 top-three finishes in the history of the Rugby World Cup, the competition is widely regarded as rugby union's toughest provincial competition.

Leicester Tigers English rugby union club

Leicester Tigers is an English professional rugby union club based in Leicester, England. They play in Premiership Rugby, England's top division of rugby.

England national rugby union team sportsteam in rugby union

The England national rugby union team is the representative national team in the sport of rugby union for the nation of England. They compete in the annual Six Nations Championship with France, Ireland, Scotland, Italy, and Wales. England have won the championship on a total of 28 occasions, 13 times winning the Grand Slam and 25 times winning the Triple Crown, making them the most successful outright winners in the tournament's history. They are ranked first in the world by the International Rugby Board as of 28 October 2019. England are to date the only team from the northern hemisphere to win the Rugby World Cup, having won the tournament in 2003. They were also runners-up in 1991 and 2007. England again reached the Rugby World Cup final in 2019, defeating two-time defending champions New Zealand 19–7 in the semi-finals on 26 October 2019.

Nicknamed "Thomas the Tank" due to his size and strength, he became a stalwart in the Chiefs team after moving to Exeter in 2014. They reached the 2016 Premiership final for the first time, before winning the 2017 Premiership.

In New Zealand


Waldrom made his Wellington Lions provincial debut in 2001 against Otago. He went on to play 80 games for Wellington at provincial level before moving to the Hawke's Bay for the 2009 season. Waldrom had become something of a fan favourite at McLean Park with his high work rate and powerful runs with the ball. In 2009 he helped the Magpies to a semi final, scoring 4 tries along the way.

Wellington Rugby Football Union governing body of rugby union in the province of Wellington

The Wellington Rugby Football Union are a New Zealand governing body of rugby union in the New Zealand province of Wellington Region. The main stadium is Westpac Stadium which is located in Wellington. The union also represents the Wellington Lions, which is professional rugby union team who compete in the Mitre 10 Cup competition and contest for the Ranfurly Shield. Before 2006 the Lions competed in the National Provincial Championship.

Otago Rugby Football Union

The Otago Rugby Football Union is the official governing body of rugby union for the Otago region of New Zealand. The union is based in the city of Dunedin, and its home ground is Forsyth Barr Stadium. The top representative team competes in the ITM Cup, New Zealand's top provincial competition. The union was to have been liquidated in March 2012. However a deal involving the Dunedin City Council allowed it to keep operating.

McLean Park

McLean Park is a sports ground in Napier, New Zealand. The two main sports played at the ground are cricket and rugby union. It is one of the largest cricket grounds in New Zealand.

Super Rugby

Waldrom made his Super Rugby debut in 2004 for the Hurricanes against the Stormers. He went on to play 30 caps for the Hurricanes before signing with the Crusaders for the 2009 season, where he would be a regular for one season.

Stormers South African rugby union team

The Stormers are a South African professional rugby union team based in Cape Town competing in the Super Rugby competition. They have never won a tournament, but their home stadium, Newlands, typically draws the highest average attendance figures of any ground in Super Rugby..

Move to England

Leicester Tigers

On 23 February 2010 English Champions Leicester Tigers announced the signing of Waldrom and that he would join the team at the conclusion of the 2010 Super Rugby season. Waldrom instantly became a firm favourite at Welford Road and was given the nickname "Thomas the tank engine", due to his size and rampaging runs to which he has taken to giving an arm gesture as if blowing a train engines horn when scoring a try.

Welford Road Stadium Rugby union stadium in Leicester

Welford Road is a rugby union stadium in Leicester, England, and is the home ground for Leicester Tigers. The ground was opened on 10 September 1892 and is located between Aylestone Road and Welford Road on the southern edge of the city centre. The ground was developed in two main periods, either side of the First World War stands were built on both sides and then between 1995 and 2016 both ends were developed and the north side redeveloped. The stadium has a capacity of 25,849, making it the largest purpose-built club rugby union ground in England. It hosted five full England national team matches between 1902 and 1923, and staged a single match at each of the 1991 and 1999 Rugby World Cups.

Throughout his time at the Tigers, he played 103 matches and scored 17 tries. Having won his first Premiership title with the team in 2013, he was not offered a new contract past 2014.

Exeter Chiefs


On 20 January 2014 Exeter Chiefs confirmed the signing of Waldrom to a 3-year contract. [2] Waldrom marked his first Aviva Premiership appearance for Exeter with 2 tries in an Exeter Chiefs record Premiership winning margin. [3] Waldrom scored a remarkable 16 tries during the 2014-15 season to end as the League's top try scorer as Exeter narrowly missed out on a play-off spot. This made him the first forward since Neil Back in the 1998-99 season to achieve this feat. [4] He also helped Exeter's charge to the Challenge Cup Semi-Final that year.


In December, Waldrom scored his first Premiership hat-trick in Exeter's 27-41 away win at Wasps. He would score another hat-trick against Worcester as he finished as top try scorer for a second year in a row in the Premiership. Exeter. Waldrom missed Exeter's first Premiership Final, a 28-20 loss to Saracens, due to a knee injury sustained against Wasps in the Semi-Final. [5]

Waldrom scored two tries in Exeter's first Champions Cup Quarter-Final against Wasps. However, this was not enough to prevent Wasps securing a last-minute win. [6] Despite his good form, Waldrom missed out on selection for Eddie Jones' first England squad. [7]


In the 2016-17 season Waldrom scored 9 tries in 20 appearances as Exeter finished in second position in the Aviva Premiership regular season. In the play-offs, Waldrom helped Exeter beat Saracens 18-16 [8] to reach the final for a second year in a row, this time playing League toppers and 5 time Premiership champions Wasps. Exeter won 20-23 aet to be crowned champions of England for the first time. [9]


Due to the emergence of Sam Simmonds, Waldron's playing time has been limited in the 2017-18 season. [10] This has not stopped Waldrom scoring 2 tries to bring his total to 40 Exeter Premiership tries.

On 4 February 2018, Waldrom confirmed that he would be returning to his native New Zealand at the end of the 2017-18 season, after four seasons at the Chiefs. [11] He will rejoin his old province Wellington for the 2018 Mitre 10 Cup. [12]


Having discovered he was eligible to play for England in March 2011, Waldrom was named in the 45-man England training squad for the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand. Waldrom was initially cut from the 30-man squad, but an injury to prop Andrew Sheridan meant he was called in as an injury replacement during the World Cup final pool stages. [13] [14]

Waldrom did not make an appearance for England until the next year. He was selected as part of England's squad for their 2012 tour of South Africa. Having scored two tries in a mid-week match against SA Barbarians South, he was selected on the bench for the second test, coming on to replace Ben Morgan in the second-half. His first Test start came the next week in England's 14-14 third test draw. Waldrom's first Six Nations Championship appearance came in England's away win against Ireland in 2013.

Since Eddie Jones became England's coach in 2015, Waldrom has not been selected for the international squad.

Club Statistics

ClubSeasonLeague [15] European [16] Total
Leicester Tigers Premiership 2010–11 23272304
Premiership 2011-12 21661277
Premiership 2012-13 17270242
Premiership 2013-14 17351234
Exeter Chiefs Premiership 2014-15 2216512717
Premiership 2015-16 2213462619
Premiership 2016-17 209532512
Premiership 2017-18 6240102

Personal life

Born in Lower Hutt, New Zealand, Thomas the younger brother of former All Black Scott Waldrom.

As a teenager, Waldrom specialised in shot put, discus and hammer throwing, setting several school and club records in these sports. [17]

The younger brother of former All Black Scott Waldrom, he was overlooked by the All Blacks selectors while playing in New Zealand, and after making his move to England, had aspirations of eventually playing for the England national team. Under International Rugby Board (IRB) regulations, he would not be eligible for England until being resident in the country for three years. In March 2011 Waldrom discovered his maternal grandmother was born in England, immediately making him eligible for selection to the National Team. [18]

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  2. Stevens, Mark. "'Thomas the Tank' signs on". Exeter Chiefs. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
  3. "Premiership: London Welsh 0-52 Exeter". BBC Sport. 7 September 2014. Retrieved 6 January 2018.
  4. "Premiership Rugby | Official Site". Retrieved 6 January 2018.
  5. "Thomas Waldrom: Exeter Chiefs forward to miss Premiership final with knee injury". BBC Sport. 25 May 2016. Retrieved 6 January 2018.
  6. "European Champions Cup: Wasps 25-24 Exeter". BBC Sport. 9 April 2016. Retrieved 6 January 2018.
  7. Eccleshare, Charlie (2016). "Eddie Jones names his first England squad ahead of Six Nations - live: Tom Youngs and Danny Cipriani excluded". ISSN   0307-1235 . Retrieved 6 January 2018.
  8. "Premiership semi-final: Exeter Chiefs 18-16 Saracens". BBC Sport. 20 May 2017. Retrieved 6 January 2018.
  9. "Premiership final: Wasps 20-23 Exeter Chiefs (aet)". BBC Sport. 27 May 2017. Retrieved 6 January 2018.
  10. "The fairytale continues for Sam Simmonds - Rugby World". Rugby World. 9 November 2017. Retrieved 6 January 2018.
  12. "Thomas Waldrom linking up with old province Wellington after eight-year stint in UK". TVNZ. 18 February 2018. Retrieved 23 February 2018.
  13. "Matt Stevens named in England training squad". BBC Sport. 20 June 2011. Retrieved 20 June 2011.
  14. "Rugby World Cup 2011: Thomas Waldrom in for Andrew Sheridan". BBC Sport. 26 September 2011. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
  15. "Premiership Rugby Player Profile". Retrieved 6 January 2018.
  16. "Player Archive". Retrieved 6 January 2018.
  17. "Celebrities set to heft the shot put". Fairfax Media.
  18. "Waldrom available for England call". ESPN Scrum. 23 March 2011. Retrieved 23 March 2011.