Position: Openside Flanker
Height: 1.80 m (5? 11?)
Weight: 100 kg (15 st 10 lb)
Date of Birth: 11th September 1984
Tom Rees has surely cemented his place on the openside flank for England at this year’s Rugby World Cup with some exceptional performances for Wasps and England this season.
Rees and Magnus Lund, the Sale flanker, appeared to have similar chances of claiming the spot in the starting line-up with both performing well in the England jersey. However, coach Brian Ashton has already released Lund (and Andy Hazell), leaving Rees as the only specialist in his position – Lewis Moody will provide cover, but is preferred on the blindside.
Rees has represented England at the U16, U18, U19 and U21 age groups and so is no stranger to International rugby. His father played rugby for Swansea Schoolboys, and he was educated at RGS High Wycombe – so his rugby pedigree cannot be questioned.
His speed makes him a dangerous prospect in attack, and his stocky stature allows him to be a ferocious forager in the loose. Nevertheless, his first great test for the senior England team will come against South Africa in Pool A, where he will line up against Schalk Burger and Juan Smith, arguably two of the finest back row players in the world.
To support him into battle, Rees may benefit from running out alongside Wasps teammates Lawrence Dallaglio and Joe Worsley, but no matter what combination Ashton chooses, Rees will be there and England’s supporters will be hoping he lives up to his potential.