His rugby talent was first nurtured at Barnard Castle School. Following his elder brother Rory, he played for Leicester Tigers and England. Tony had another brother called Gary, who played at under-21 level for England. He made his England debut in October 1992 against Canada, and went on to win a total of 27 English caps. Tony and Rory were the first brothers to play for England together since Harold and Arthur Wheatley in England's 1937 6-3 win over Scotland, and partnered in the 1995 Five Nations Grand Slam win.
He played in the Rugby World Cup in 1995, although arguably his most memorable moment in that tournament was when his opposite number, Jonah Lomu, ran a ring around him, before powering straight over the tackle of full back Mike Catt to score what would be one of his four tries in that game. In 1995, he left Leicester for Newcastle Falcons. His last cap for England came in December 1998 against South Africa where he was replaced early; England went on to win. He would later star in a famous Pizza Hut advert alongside Lomu.
He is now retired from international rugby and has become a long-haul pilot for Virgin Atlantic. He was seen on ITV's Airline training to be a pilot, finally graduating as a pilot, and completing his first flight with EasyJet from London Luton Airport to Zurich. He used to live in Monkston Milton Keynes, he now lives in Évian-les-Bains in France, close to the Swiss border and within easy access to the airport of Geneva. He is married, with two daughters.