Tom Sanders (rugby union)

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Tom Sanders
Full nameTom Bayley Sanders
Date of birth (1994-02-05) 5 February 1994 (age 25)
Place of birthChristchurch, New Zealand
Height190 cm (6 ft 3 in)
Weight109 kg (240 lb; 17 st 2 lb)
SchoolLincoln High School
UniversityLincoln University
Rugby union career
Position(s) Flanker, Number 8
Current team Canterbury, Crusaders
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
2014– Canterbury 44 (45)
2016–2017 Chiefs 20 (20)
2018– Crusaders 8 (0)
Correct as of 13 April 2019
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
2014 New Zealand U20 4 (5)
Correct as of 13 April 2019

Tom Bayley Sanders (born 5 February 1994) is a New Zealand rugby union player who currently plays as a loose forward for Canterbury in New Zealand's domestic Mitre 10 Cup and the Chiefs in the international Super Rugby competition.[1][2][3][4][5]

Early career[edit]

Born in Christchurch and raised in the small town of Little River, Sanders attended Lincoln High School in the city of his birth, where he played first XV rugby for 3 years and was a member of the New Zealand Schools academy during that time. He initially played his rugby as a midfielder, but later in his teens switched to loose forward.

After graduating high school, he began studying for a Bachelor of Commerce in Agricultural Management at Lincoln University while also representing them in the local Canterbury club leagues.[1]

Senior career[edit]

Sanders started out his senior career with Canterbury during the 2014 ITM Cup, making his debut against Auckland in Week 1 of the competition. He had to settle for a place on the replacements bench most weeks but did come on to good effect and scored 3 tries in 8 appearances during the season. He played 10 times in 2015, rotating the starting duties with Reed Prinsep as Canterbury lifted the Premiership title with a 25-23 victory over Auckland in the final. Injury held him back in the early part of 2016, but he bounced back to start 7 times and score 1 try to help Canterbury to their 8th national provincial championship title in 9 seasons.[2]

Super Rugby[edit]

His displays in his first year of provincial rugby didn't go unnoticed and he was named as a member of the Crusaders wider training group for the 2015 Super Rugby season.[6] It was largely a season of learning for Sanders, as the presence of All Black stalwarts such as Kieran Read and Richie McCaw in the Crusaders back row meant that he didn't see any game time.

His continued good work in New Zealand's domestic rugby competitions saw him named in the Chiefs squad in 2016. He scored 3 tries in 13 appearances during his first year in Hamilton as his new side reached the tournament's semi-finals before going down to New Zealand rivals, and eventual champions the Hurricanes in Wellington.[2] He was retained in the squad for 2017.[4]

International career[edit]

Sanders was a surprise inclusion in the New Zealand Under-20 side which competed in the 2014 IRB Junior World Championship in his home country. Despite this, he was one of the standout loose forwards in the competition and scored 1 try in 4 appearances as his side finished in 3rd place.[7][8] During his time at Lincoln University, he also represented the New Zealand Universities team.[1]

Career Honours[edit]


Super Rugby Statistics[edit]

As of 10 December 2016[2]
Season Team Games Starts Sub Mins Tries Cons Pens Drops Points Yel Red
2016 Chiefs 13 12 1 850 3 0 0 0 15 1 0
Total 13 12 1 850 3 0 0 0 15 1 0


  1. ^ a b c "Tom Sanders Canterbury Player Profile". Canterbury Rugby. Archived from the original on 13 January 2015. Retrieved 10 December 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d "Tom Sanders Player Statistics". itsrugby. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
  3. ^ "Tom Sanders ESPN Scrum Player Profile". ESPN Scrum. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
  4. ^ a b "Chiefs 2017 Squad Guide" (PDF). All Retrieved 10 December 2016.
  5. ^ "Tom Sanders Chiefs Player Profile". Chiefs Rugby. Retrieved 10 December 2016.
  6. ^ "Crusaders 2015 Squad Naming" (PDF). All Retrieved 9 December 2014.
  7. ^ "Tom Sanders New Zealand Under 20 Player Profile". All Retrieved 9 December 2014.
  8. ^ "NZU20 squad named for IRB JWC2014". All 23 April 2014. Retrieved 9 December 2014.