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Tom Varndell has walked out of French rugby

By Liam Heagney
Tom Varndell

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Tom Varndell’s brief flirtation with France is over after just six PRO D2 games with Soyaux Angoulême.


The English Premiership’s all-time record try-scorer had signed a two-year deal with the second tier French club last summer.

However, he has now quit for family reasons after just a half-dozen appearances, his last run coming in the November 30 home win over Colomiers.

The mid-table outfit had snapped up Varndell in the hope his star status as a proven finisher at Leicester, Wasps and Bristol would fire up their attempt to win a first-ever Top 14 promotion.

But he scored just once in Pro D2 and the club has agreed to release him from his contract even though they don’t have a replacement for him for the rest of the season.

The 32-year-old, who earned the last of his four England caps against New Zealand in 2008, had finished last season at Scarlets after leaving Bristol in March.

Struggling Leicester, where Varndell scored 45 of the 92 tries that make him the Premiership’s all-time record try-scorer, could be his surprise next destination.


Varndell was a teammate of Geordan Murphy’s from 2004 to 2009 and the Tigers head coach is searching for short-term injury cover for the sidelined Telusa Veainu.

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