Tom Johnson (rugby union)
|Birth name||Thomas Anthony Johnson|
|Date of birth||16 July 1982|
|Place of birth||Düsseldorf, Germany|
|Height||1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)|
|Weight||116 kg (256 lb; 18.3 st) |
|School||Dean Close School|
|University||Oxford Brookes University|
|Rugby union career|
Tom Johnson (born 16 July 1982) is a retired professional rugby union player, who is most well known for his time at Exeter Chiefs in the Aviva Premiership. Tom was educated at Dean Close School, Cheltenham. His position of choice is Flanker or Number eight. Having recently joined Newton Abbott RFC, he will again be spending his time playing Flanker or Number 8, where he will be joining local hero Jarryd Harris in the upcoming 2017/2018 season.
Johnson's father was an officer in the Royal Air Force and was stationed at RAF Rheindahlen just outside Düsseldorf in Germany. Before joining Coventry Johnson considered following his father's career in the armed forces by the joining the Parachute Regiment, but instead choose to become a professional rugby player.
Johnson started playing rugby with the Oxfordshire based amateur club Chinnor then plying their trade in South West Division 1. His form there led to him being called up by the Oxfordshire county side who he helped to reach the Tetley's County Shield final in 2003 - losing at Twickenham to Northumberland.
In 2004 Johnson joined Reading who had just gained promotion to National Division Three South from the division he had just been in with at Chinnor. At his new club Johnson played in all 28 of their National Three South and Cup matches, mostly at Number 8, and plundered 17 tries, helping the Berkshire side to 6th place in the league. He bagged four in a game twice, against Dings Crusaders and Lydney. Johnson switched to Coventry the following season and along the way to becoming the first Reading player to excel on the professional stage since Ayoola Erinle, then a future England centre. During his Coventry days he scored an 80-metre try against Otley, this was an early indication of his nimble footwork for a big man and ability to finish moves from long range.
Johnson joined Exeter Chiefs in 2007 and since then has been a regular on the Exeter teamsheet, He made his Exeter debut on 1 September 2007 against Sedgley Park. Johnson was a part of the Exeter team that gained promotion from the RFU Championship to the Aviva Premiership. Johnson became a key component in Exeter's success and in 2011 was rewarded with an international callup. On 2 January 2014, Johnson signed a three-year contract extension to stay with Exeter Chiefs until 2016/17 season.
Johnson was called up to a select England side to face the Barbarians in 2011. Johnson made numerous starts for the England Saxons squad receiving many positive reviews and was part of the team that won the 2011 Churchill Cup defeating Canada in the final. In 2012 Johnson was selected for England's tour to South Africa. Johnson started all three games for England against South Africa. For his first cap on the England tour of South Africa in June 2012, Johnson became the first full England international from Exeter Rugby Club since Martin Underwood in 1964.
Johnson went on to represent England against Fiji and Australia in the Autumn internationals. Johnson scored his first try for England in the 54-12 win over Fiji. Johnson was originally selected in Englands squad for the 2013 Six Nations however he was dropped after suffering a knee ligament injury for Exeter Chiefs in their Heineken Cup match against Leinster at Sandy Park ruling him out of the Tournament.
- Tetley's County Shield finalists: 2003
- "Aviva Premiership Rugby - Exeter Chiefs". web page. Premier Rugby. Archived from the original on 6 February 2012. Retrieved 27 August 2011.
- "The Rise of Tom Johnson". Sky Sports. Retrieved 6 September 2012.
- "Hills' tries fire North to county shield title". Chronicle Live. 26 May 2003.
- "National Three South 04/05 Leading try scorers". Rugby Statbunker. 23 April 2005.
- "National Three South 04/05 Most tries in a match (Player)". Rugby Statbunker. 23 April 2005.
- "Tom Johnson - Official RFU England Profile". RFU. Retrieved 25 May 2013.
- "Tom Johnson Profile". Exeter Chiefs Official Website. Archived from the original on 2 February 2017.
- "Tom Johnson contract extension with Exeter Chiefs". BBC Sport. 2 January 2014.
- "England call up uncapped players to take on the Barbarians". web page. London: Guardian Newspaper. 23 May 2011. Retrieved 10 February 2012.
- "England A v Canada". ESPN. Retrieved 18 June 2011.
- "Danny Care recalled to England squad for South Africa tour". BBC Sport. Retrieved 10 February 2012.
- "England 54-12 Fiji". BBC Sport. Retrieved 10 February 2012.
- "Six Nations 2013: Lancaster makes sensible choices for England Squad". thesportreview.com. Retrieved 10 February 2012.
- "England flanker Tom Johnson out of Six Nations with knee injury". Sky Sports. Retrieved 10 February 2012.
- "England select 11 new caps". Planet Rugby. Retrieved 8 May 2013.