Tom Wood (rugby union)
|Birth name||Thomas Wood|
|Date of birth||3 November 1986|
|Place of birth||Coventry, England|
|Height||1.93 m (6 ft 4 in)|
|Weight||113 kg (17 st 11 lb; 249 lb)|
|School||The Woodlands, Coventry|
|Rugby union career|
Wood, who was educated at the Woodlands School and Sports College, Coventry, made his debut for Worcester Warriors against Bath in the opening round of the 2007–08 Guinness Premiership. Earlier in his career he spent some time in New Zealand and played for provincial team North Otago.
He was awarded the 2011 Aviva Premiership Player of the Season award and was shortlisted by the Rugby Players' Association for their Players' Player of the Year award alongside Chris Ashton, Chris Budgen, Nick Evans, Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu and Thomas Waldrom and for their Young Player of the Year award alongside Owen Farrell, Courtney Lawes, Joe Marler, Charlie Sharples and Manu Tuilagi.
Wood captained Saints to both the European Rugby Challenge Cup and Aviva Premiership trophies as the side completed its double winning season, collecting both titles within eight days of each other.
Named club captain for the 2016/17 season, Wood lead the side through a tough season which ended in Saints fighting to secure a final place in European Rugby Champions Cup for the 2017/18 season, despite beating Harlequins on the final day of the regular season. Despite their win, Saints had to continue their quest for top-tier European rugby and face Connacht Rugby in the European Champions Cup play-off semi-final. Beating Connacht convincingly, Saints turned their attentions to the play-off final and Stade Francais. Despite Wood receiving a red card in the proceedings, Saints went on to score a last minute try and secure the win and therefore the final place in the European Champions Cup for the following season.
Tom Wood made his debut for England against Wales in Cardiff in the opening game of the Six Nations, on 4 February 2011. He then played in the victories against Italy and France. Wood was named in the 30-man squad for England in the Rugby World Cup later that year, but started only one game against Georgia.
Upon Stuart Lancaster's appointment as interim Head Coach, speculation mounted that Wood might be named captain for the 2012 Six Nations. However, a foot injury saw him miss both the Six Nations and England's tour to South Africa in the summer. Wood returned to the side in the end-of-year internationals, starting fixtures against South Africa and New Zealand. His performance in England's 38-21 victory over New Zealand saw him named Man of the Match.
The 2013 Six Nations saw Wood start at blindside flanker in the opening fixture against Scotland, but move to Number 8 for the remaining four fixtures following an injury to Ben Morgan. Wood was named captain for England's tour of Argentina in the summer, leading the side to a 2-0 series victory whilst playing in his usual position at blindside flanker. Wood was named to start for all three games in the following end-of-year internationals.
Wood missed out on an England selection in the coming years but was re-called to the squad under Eddie Jones and helped the nation to end their losing streak against the Springboks in 2016 as well as hold onto their Six Nations title the following year while earning his 50th international cap.
Wood is capable of playing across all three back row positions, but is typically used at blindside flanker for his country. His abrasive style of play sees him featuring heavily in defence, frequently putting in high tackle counts and helping slow opposition ball at breakdowns. His height and athleticism also sees him used frequently as a lineout jumper.
- "Official Site of the RBS 6 Nations 2014". RBS. Retrieved 9 February 2014.
- "Official Site of the RFU". RFU. Archived from the original on 25 September 2011. Retrieved 24 August 2011.
- "'Coventry Tom' Wood follows a proud line of England players". Daily Mail. London.
- "Bath 29–15 Worcester". BBC. 15 September 2007. Retrieved 14 February 2010.
- Robert Kitson (2 February 2011). "Martin Johnson sees new boy Tom Wood as a chip off the old block". guardian.co.uk. London.
- "Bath secure Challenge Cup glory". BBC. 25 May 2008. Retrieved 14 February 2010.
- "Northampton Saints sign Tom Wood from Worcester". BBC. 27 January 2010. Retrieved 14 February 2010.
- Mick Cleary (10 May 2011). "Northampton Saints lock Tom Wood crowned Aviva Premiership Player of the Season". London: The Telegraph. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
- Melissa Platt (12 May 2011). "The RPA Announce Awards Shortlist". RPA – The Rugby Players' Association. Retrieved 18 May 2011.[permanent dead link]
- "England Saxons 17–13 Ireland A". BBC. 31 January 2010. Retrieved 14 February 2010.
- "Six Nations: Tindall leads England as Wood handed debut". BBC. 2 February 2011. Retrieved 3 February 2011.
- Standley, James (26 February 2011). "England 17-9 France". BBC. Retrieved 1 February 2014.