RUGBY UNION: Tombleson is 'significant' appointment for England

Tom Tombleson takes on the Cambridge defence in the 2006 Varsity Match

Tom Tombleson takes on the Cambridge defence in the 2006 Varsity Match

First published in Rugby The Oxford Times: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter specialising in Rugby, Cricket and Athletics. Call me on 01865 425456

TRIPLE Oxford Blue Tom Tombleson has been appointed as England’s strength and conditioning coach.

The addition of Tombleson, who played for Oxford University in the 2005, 2006 and 2007 Varsity Matches, was labelled “a significant appointment” by England head coach Stuart Lancaster.

Tombleson joined England after five years at New South Wales Waratahs in Australia, having helped them to the Super 15 title earlier this month.

The former wing linked up with England for the first time at last week’s Loughborough University-based training camp.

Lancaster said: “This is a significant appointment for us as we head into a World Cup year and beyond. Tom has already fitted in well.

“He knows his rugby, having played to a high level, and has had a great few seasons with the Waratahs culminating in their Super 15 title.”

RFU head of athletic performance Matt Parker added: “Tom has an excellent track record in elite rugby.

“He’s worked with a number of international players and brings great knowledge and experience to the England performance team.

“He’s joined us at an exciting time and we’re confident he’ll contribute significantly to the squad.

A club statement read: “Everyone at OURFC wishes Tom all the best in his new role and look forward to seeing the best prepared England team take to the field in November when they take on the might of the Southern Hemisphere in the autumn internationals.”

OXFORD University will tour Russia to prepare for their 2014 Varsity Match campaign.

The Dark Blues take on St Petersburg University on Saturday, September 13 and RC Slava in Moscow seven days later.

Once back home, they host Newport Gwent Dragons at Iffley Road on Tuesday, September 30.

Other notable opponents include Leicester Tigers, Wasps and Northampton, while the traditional Major Stanley’s XV fixture is on Wednesday, November 19.

They will target a record fifth successive victory over Cambridge University at Twickenham on Thursday, December 11.

OURFC FIXTURES

Sep 13: St Petersburg University (a). Sept 20: RC Slava, Moscow (a). Sept 30: Newport Gwent Dragons (h). Oct 7: Richmond (a). Oct 14: Leicester (h). Oct 20: Wasps (h). Nov 4: Bristol (a). Nov 11: Worcester Warriors (h). Nov 19: Major Stanley’s XV (h). Nov 24: Northampton (h). Nov 30: Esher (a). Dec 11: Cambridge University (Twickenham).

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