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Vardell signs for troubled Yorkshire


Tom Varndell signs for Yorkshire and not everyone's happy about it

Yorkshire Carnegie have confirmed the signing of former Leicester and Wasps winger Tom Varndell, 33, on a one year deal.

It comes a week after the financially stricken Championship club were given the green light by the RFU to press ahead with preparations for the new season. 

Yorkshire’s participation was subject to the club satisfying certain conditions relating to them entering into a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA).

Insolvency practitioners supervising the CVA entered provided confirmation to the RFU by the August 9 deadline that 100 per cent of the club’s creditors had either agreed to the terms of the CVA or been paid in full by third parties.

That left the RFU, as per regulation 5.3, confirming that the Leeds-based club would not be subject to a deduction of 28 points for the new Championship season.

Free from avoiding that season-ruining punishment, Varndell has now been recruitment by the club that has Joe Ford working as head coach under the director of rugby, Martyn Wood.

The winger, who has four England caps, holds the record as the leading try-scorer in the Gallagher Premiership with 92 tries during his time with Leicester Tigers, Wasps and Bristol.

He is the sixth signing announced by Carnegie as the club continues to rebuild its squad. At Leicester he won the title in 2007 and with 180 Premiership appearances, as well as international honours, he brings a wealth of experience to Yorkshire.

A Commonwealth Games silver medallist in Melbourne in 2006, he was also named Guinness Premiership young player of the year in 2006.

In recent years he has played with Scarlets and French club Soyaux Angouleme and this year played with South China Tigers in Hong Kong in the Global Rapid Rugby series. His recruitment by Yorkshire has been questioned on Twitter by Ben Ryan, the Olympic-winning Fijian coach.

But Yorkshire boss Wood said on the club’s website: “We are delighted to bring a player of Tom’s quality and experience to Yorkshire Carnegie. He is a proven finisher at all levels and we are looking forward to having him at the club.”

Yorkshire’s early August announcement of Ford’s recruitment triggered a backlash on Twitter – from one of the club’s own players.

Backrow Daniel Temm wrote on the social media platform that the signing of a player of Ford’s profile was unbelievable considering what some current players are going through at the club.

“I find it truly unbelievable that Yorkshire Rugby are able to sign a guy like Joe Ford with premiership credentials. They have players who they signed and moved their families across the country and the world who have received 15 pence to the pound on agreed contracts!

“We now have players who played 30 games for the club last year who are now receiving personal medical bills from companies as the club is not willing to cover Xrays and MRIs that were undergone by players on recommendations and necessity from the clubs medical staff.

“This is happening the board who have lead the club into this financial crisis are left to operate how they please with no consequences. The thing for me as a player is that this issue isn’t just a financial issue. It is something that the England Rugby/RFU needs to look into.”

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Tom Varndell signs for Yorkshire and not everyone's happy about it
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