Premiership - Varndell relishing return for London Wasps

What a difference 12 months can make - just ask injured London Wasps wing Tom Varndell.

Premiership - Varndell relishing return for London Wasps

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Tom Varndell, London Wasps

Last season Varndell finished joint-top try-scorer with fellow club-wing Christian Wade in the Aviva Premiership charts and talk of a return to international colours was a hot topic of conversation.

Fast forward to 2014 and Varndell has suffered his second bicep injury of the season - the first saw him miss the start of the Aviva Premiership and now the former Leicester Tiger faces a fight to even return to full fitness before the campaign concludes in May.

Varndell has been keeping himself busy while he has been on the sidelines and last weekend attended the London Wasps-organised Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup competition for under-11 and 12 sides from the South East at Farnham Royal Rugby Club.

But for the time being Varndell has his eyes firmly focussed on returning to full fitness and making his mark in London Wasps' colours before the season draws to a conclusion.

"This season has been incredibly frustrating, I had worked hard off the pitch in pre-season and I thought I was the fittest I've been," said Varndell.

"I had a lot of confidence after last year and got invited to train with England and was getting back into the Saxons side.

"So to get hit by two bicep ruptures, which will have lost me about six months, has been very frustrating.

"It's been a complete reverse of last year when I was playing some top rugby and obviously ended up as joint-top try-scorer.

"This year has been very different but hopefully I can get back on the pitch before the end of the season and enjoy the stinger.

"Last year was up there with the best form of my life, obviously at Leicester I was running in tries and enjoying myself, but it was certainly my best form since being at Wasps.

"It was brilliant - I was playing well for the club, getting recognition on an international level as well and I was building my way back into it.

"I'm still 27 so I have a lot of rugby to play and hopefully we can bounce back either at the end of this season or definitely in the next."

With a home World Cup coming to English shores in 2015, Varndell has still not given up hope of forcing his way back in Stuart Lancaster's international reckoning.

But with a host of talented young stars being handed their chance in recent months - Marland Yarde, Wade, Jonny May and Jack Nowell - Varndell admits it won't be easy.

"There have been so many changes within the England squad and there are a lot of players playing well but like you've seen with Jack Nowell and Jonny May, it only takes a couple of injuries and you are back in the mix," he added.

"I'm going to need a little of bit of luck but hopefully if I can get back to playing well then I will break into that squad before the World Cup, which is definitely an aim for me.

"Playing in a home World Cup is once in a lifetime and the way England is playing at the moment, I would just love to be involved.

"I was on my way to train with England when I got the news that I had ruptured my bicep again so who knows what might have happened.

"I would have been playing in one of the Saxons games for a fact if I hadn't been injured so it takes a couple of good games and you're back in the good books of Stuart Lancaster.

"For me, I'm just focusing on recovering from this injury and coming back 100% and playing well for Wasps.

"It is a case of looking at that I've lost a season of my career now so I have to be fresh for next year and hopefully make up for lost time - that's all I can do.”

© Sportsbeat 2014

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