Archer made his debut international appearance for England during March 1996 in the Five Nations that season, in a match against Scotland. England won the match 18 to nine at Murrayfield. He also played in the match against Ireland. The following year, 1997, he was capped five time for England, including games against the All Blacks and Australia. He played eight times for England the following year, and in 1999 was included in the English squad for the 1999 World Cup in Wales. His last Test for England against Scotland at Murrayfield on 2 April during the 2000 Six Nations Championship.
He retired in 2004 at 29, because of back injury, and has since taken up rowing. He has had notable success in indoor rowing, winning his age group and coming third overall in 2008, and beating international rowers to win overall in 2009 at the British Indoor Rowing Championships.