Waldrom lands in Dunedin
September 21, 2011
Leicester Tigers No. 8 Thomas arrives at Dunedin Airport after answering Martin Johhson's England call © Getty Images
Leicester Tigers No. 8 Thomas Waldrom landed in Dunedin this morning hardly able to believe the call that has put him on the edge of England's Rugby World Cup bid.
Waldrom was involved the Leicester Tigers 27-26 victory over Newcastle Falcons at Kingston Park on Saturday and was expecting to pore over the Aviva Premiership match with Richard Cockerill.
However, within minutes of the Director of Rugby calling him in to the office on Monday morning, he was packing his bags to fly out to New Zealand as cover for Harlequins Nick Easter, who did not train yesterday because of a sore back.
"It wasn't what I expecting when I went into Cockers' office," said Waldrom after arriving at Dunedin Airport. "I just thought we were going to talk about the game but he said go and sort out stuff at home and then you are on a plane to New Zealand."
Less than three hours later, having said goodbye to wife Emma, son Troy and his nine-week old brother Kade - "I'm afraid I left a bit of mess for the missus!" - Waldrom was in a taxi to Heathrow and ready to step up to the plate if Martin Johnson requires.
He said: "It's just a case of being out here; it's up to Johnno what he wants and how Nick's injury comes along. I'll just have to sit and wait but it's one of those things you have to do. Cockers didn't have to let me go but he knows what an opportunity it is if I do get into the squad so he let me go and big thanks to the Tigers."
Waldrom, who was part of England's 45-man Rugby World Cup Preliminary Squad, spent several hours on the flight studying his 'playbook'.
The 28-year-old has been watching England' victories over Argentina and Georgia and added: "England have had a fairly good start - everyone know there has been a few mistakes but I can see what they are trying to so - and I'm sure it'll build over the next few weeks."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Paul Eddison explains how the French sold English clubs down the river and why their domestic game will go from strength to strength
'Nothing can prepare you for the noise of the Millennium Stadium though, you just can't hear anything." Tom Hamilton talks to Cory Allen
Following a weekend where Wales suffered more heartbreak against Australia and the Aviva Premiership showed its class, the Monday Maul looks back at some of the key talking points
"Every game I want to win, I want to be successful. I want to play for England and I want to win the World Cup." Tom Hamilton talks to Danny Care