England's Waldrom signs for Lions

Mon, 19 Feb 2018 08:16
Large thomas waldrom england 2012 800

NEWS: England No.8 Thomas Waldrom will be heading back to the Southern Hemisphere.

Waldrom has signed with the Wellington Lions for 2018.

Wellington Lions coach Chris Gibbes confirmed on Monday that Waldrom would return to New Zealand following the completion of the Exeter Chiefs season to play in the National Province Championship.

Gibbes felt Waldrom's experience would be invaluable for the squad as it prepares to return to the National Provincial Championship.

"The game is getting young and signing Thomas will provide us with not only what he brings on the field but his experience off it as a seasoned professional and that's exactly what he is," he said.

"That was part of the attraction of bringing a guy like Thomas into our programme."

Waldrom, 34, made 80 appearances for the Wellington Lions before his move to the United Kingdom where he was a big part of the Leicester Tigers success for four seasons while he was also capped four times with England. He has spent the past four seasons playing for the Exeter Chefs.

Gibbes said Waldrom was a "well-known icon" of Wellington and New Zealand rugby who has gone overseas and proven himself.

"He wants to come home and play for Wellington and put something back to a place where he started. His form and his game is still there and we are excited to have a guy like that coming back into our programme."

Waldrom believed it was the right time for his family to move back to New Zealand and to get his two young boys into the New Zealand way of living.

"I will hold Exeter as a special place in my heart I have had a great time here, all the coaches and players are great I can't express how hard it was to leave but family had to come first," he said. "I will enjoy my last few months with them before returning home."

Waldrom still remembered when he put his first Lions jersey on in 2000.

"To be able to put it back on in 2018 will mean as much to me as it did to me then. It would be awesome to have my two boys watching me where I first started my professional career.

"I have had a lot of great memories when I was with the Lions playing with so many of the great players that have worn the Wellington Lions jersey.

"Coming back to where it has all started for me is going to be special and a challenge, one that I'm looking forward to. I will be able to pass on a lot of the experience I have built up while I have been away to the young lads."

By Nathaniel Cope, Rugbypass

There are currently no matches being played
Fri, 23 March 2018
Connacht v Edinburgh 22h00 Sportsground
Munster v Scarlets 22h00 Thomond Park
Dragons v Cheetahs 22h00 Rodney Parade
Ospreys v Leinster 22h00 Liberty Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Ulster 22h00 Cardiff Arms Park
Glasgow Warriors v Zebre 22h00 Scotstoun
Kings v Treviso 22h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Crusaders v Bulls 06h35 Christchurch
Rebels v Sharks 08h45 Melbourne
Bath v Exeter Chiefs 19h45 Recreation Ground
Sat, 24 March 2018
Sunwolves v Chiefs 04h15 Tokyo
Hurricanes v Highlanders 06h35 Wellington
Saracens v Harlequins 15h00 London
London Irish v Gloucester 15h00 Madejski Stadium
Sale Sharks v Worcester Warriors 15h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Stormers v Reds 15h15 Newlands
Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints 17h30 Kingston Park
Jaguares v Lions 21h40 Estadio Jose Amalfitani
Sun, 18 March 2018
Waratahs v Rebels 51 | 27
Sat, 17 March 2018
Jaguares v Reds 7 | 18
Wales v France 14 | 13
Lions v Sunwolves 40 | 38
England v Ireland 15 | 24
Stormers v Blues 37 | 20
Italy v Scotland 27 | 29
Brumbies v Sharks 24 | 17
Highlanders v Crusaders 25 | 17
Fri, 16 March 2018
Cardiff Blues v Treviso 31 | 25
Edinburgh v Munster 12 | 6
Chiefs v Bulls 41 | 28
Sun, 11 March 2018
Wales v Italy 38 | 14
Sat, 10 March 2018
Jaguares v Waratahs 38 | 28
France v England 22 | 16
Team P W D L Pts
Exeter Chiefs 17 12 0 5 61
Wasps 17 11 1 5 54
Saracens 17 11 0 6 53
Newcastle Falcons 17 11 0 6 50
Leicester Tigers 17 10 0 7 47
Gloucester 17 9 1 7 46
Bath 17 9 0 8 45
Sale Sharks 17 8 0 9 43
Harlequins 17 7 0 10 36
Northampton Saints 17 6 0 11 31
Worcester Warriors 17 5 0 12 27
London Irish 17 2 0 15 15