BODY - Tom Palmer


Tom Palmer has progressed through the ranks of English rugby over the past 10 years, beginning his career with a second division Leeds in 1997. Having been spotted by Leeds boss Phil Davies while playing for Leeds University, Palmer was drafted into the Tykes' Under-19 side during his first year at college.
During this time Palmer also represented Scotland U-19 and U-21, whom he qualified for through residency in Edinburgh, before being drafted into the Leeds first team squad in 1998.
His debut for Leeds came in September 1998 against Blackheath, but he firmly established his place in the Leeds side the following season, missing only four games throughout the campaign. Palmer was selected for England A duty while still playing in National One, which Leeds finished top of in the 2000/1 season.
His strong work over the preceding season led to his inclusion on England's summer tour to the USA, and he became the first Leeds player to play for England when he replaced Steve Borthwick against the USA in San Francisco on 16th June 2001.
The following season was Palmer's first in the premiership, although he was limited to 15 appearances following breaking his leg in the England A game with Wales A.
The 2002-03 Premiership season saw Palmer feature in every game for Leeds, and his good form was rewarded with a place in the England squad to tour New Zealand in the summer of 2003.
Following the tour Palmer linked up with the England Saxons Churchill Cup squad in Canada. During the tour he picked up a serious knee injury that sidelined him for six months. Palmer was able to rejoin Leeds in January 2004, and again slotted back into his important role within the side.
He collected a Powergen Cup winner's medal in 2005 after Leeds' victory over Bath at Twickenham. Leeds were relegated from the Premiership the following season, and Palmer chose this time to leave the club. After over 100 appearances for Leeds he joined London Wasps in the summer of 2006.
He has since won both the Heineken Cup and Guinness Premiership with Wasps, and in 2008 secured his place in Martin Johnson's first elite player squad. In 2009 it was announced that Palmer would be joining French Top 14 side Stade Francais for the 2009-10 season alongside fellow Wasps and England forward James Haskell.
Palmer continued to turn in eye-catching performances for the Parisian giants and in 2011 started every Six Nations match for England. Palmer marked a great season in the red rose jersey by being named in Martin Johnson's 45-man training squad for the World Cup.

Tom Palmer from mika on Vimeo.

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