Thomas Waldrom

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Thomas Waldrom
Thomas Waldrom 2013 (cropped).jpg
Waldrom playing for Leicester in February 2013
Date of birth (1983-04-28) 28 April 1983 (age 34)
Place of birth Lower Hutt, New Zealand
Height 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Weight 114 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
Years Team Apps (Points)
Exeter Chiefs
Correct as of 11 September 2016
Provincial / State sides
Years Team Apps (Points)
Hawke's Bay
Super Rugby
Years Team Apps (Points)
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
2012 England 4 (0)

Thomas Waldrom (born 28 April 1983 in Lower Hutt) is a New Zealand born rugby Number 8 who currently plays for the Exeter Chiefs and previously represented England national team.

His nickname is "Thomas the Tank" due to his size and strength. He performs a tank engine celebration when he scores pumping his arms while the Thomas the Tank Engine theme tune is played around Sandy Park.


As a teenager, Waldrom specialised in shot put, discus and hammer throwing, setting several school and club records in these sports.[2]


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.

Super Rugby[edit]

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.

Leicester Tigers[edit]

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 has been 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.

Waldrom, who discovered only during the 2010–11 season that he was eligible for England (see below), was named to the 45-man England training squad for the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand. The roster was cut to 30 before the team left for the World Cup. Waldrom was cut from the 30-man squad, but an injury to prop Andrew Sheridan meant he was called in as injury replacement during the world cup final pool stages. [3]

Exeter Chiefs[edit]

On 20 January 2014 Exeter Chiefs confirmed the signing of Waldrom to a 3-year contract.[4]

Personal life[edit]

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. However, as Waldrom would tell the Leicester Mercury in March 2011,

My agent came round and he brought the pamphlet with the International Rugby Board's rules regarding qualifying after residency. My wife was going through the criteria. She saw the line about being able to qualify immediately if one of your grandparents was born in the respective country. I remembered reading somewhere that my grandmother was English. I rang up my mum in New Zealand, where it was four o'clock in the morning. I apologised for waking her up and asked if nana was born in England. She said yes, and that she also had the birth certificate to prove it.[5]

This development made Waldrom immediately eligible for England selection.


  1. ^ "Aviva Premiership Rugby – Gloucester Rugby". web page. Premier Rugby. Retrieved 4 September 2011. 
  2. ^ "Celebrities set to heft the shot put". Fairfax Media. 
  3. ^ "Matt Stevens named in England training squad". BBC Sport. 20 June 2011. Retrieved 20 June 2011. 
  4. ^ Stevens, Mark. "‘Thomas the Tank’ signs on". Exeter Chiefs. Retrieved 20 January 2014. 
  5. ^ "Waldrom available for England call". ESPN Scrum. 23 March 2011. Retrieved 23 March 2011.