|Full name||Tom Bayley Sanders|
|Date of birth||5 February 1994|
|Place of birth||Christchurch, New Zealand|
|Height||190 cm (6 ft 3 in)|
|Weight||110 kg (243 lb; 17 st 5 lb)|
|School||Lincoln High School|
|Rugby union career|
Tom Bayley Sanders (born 5 February 1994) is a New Zealand rugby union player who currently plays as a loose forward for Canterbury in New Zealand's domestic Mitre 10 Cup and the Crusaders in the international Super Rugby competition.
Born in Christchurch and raised in the small town of Little River, Sanders attended Lincoln High School in the city of his birth, where he played first XV rugby for 3 years and was a member of the New Zealand Schools academy during that time. He initially played his rugby as a midfielder, but later in his teens switched to loose forward.
Sanders started out his senior career with Canterbury during the 2014 ITM Cup, making his debut against Auckland in Week 1 of the competition. He had to settle for a place on the replacements bench most weeks but did come on to good effect and scored 3 tries in 8 appearances during the season. He played 10 times in 2015, rotating the starting duties with Reed Prinsep as Canterbury lifted the Premiership title with a 25-23 victory over Auckland in the final. Injury held him back in the early part of 2016, but he bounced back to start 7 times and score 1 try to help Canterbury to their 8th national provincial championship title in 9 seasons.
His displays in his first year of provincial rugby didn't go unnoticed and he was named as a member of the Crusaders wider training group for the 2015 Super Rugby season. It was largely a season of learning for Sanders, as the presence of All Black stalwarts such as Kieran Read and Richie McCaw in the Crusaders back row meant that he didn't see any game time.
His continued good work in New Zealand's domestic rugby competitions saw him named in the Chiefs squad in 2016. He scored 3 tries in 13 appearances during his first year in Hamilton as his new side reached the tournament's semi-finals before going down to New Zealand rivals, and eventual champions the Hurricanes in Wellington. He was retained in the squad for 2017.
Sanders was a surprise inclusion in the New Zealand Under-20 side which competed in the 2014 IRB Junior World Championship in his home country. Despite this, he was one of the standout loose forwards in the competition and scored 1 try in 4 appearances as his side finished in 3rd place. During his time at Lincoln University, he also represented the New Zealand Universities team.
Super Rugby Statistics
- As of 10 December 2016
- "Tom Sanders Canterbury Player Profile". Canterbury Rugby. Archived from the original on 13 January 2015. Retrieved 10 December 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Tom Sanders Player Statistics". itsrugby. Retrieved 9 December 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Tom Sanders ESPN Scrum Player Profile". ESPN Scrum. Retrieved 9 December 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Chiefs 2017 Squad Guide" (PDF). All Blacks.com. Retrieved 10 December 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Tom Sanders Chiefs Player Profile". Chiefs Rugby. Retrieved 10 December 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Crusaders 2015 Squad Naming" (PDF). All Blacks.com. Retrieved 9 December 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Tom Sanders New Zealand Under 20 Player Profile". All Blacks.com. Retrieved 9 December 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "NZU20 squad named for IRB JWC2014". All Blacks.com. 23 April 2014. Retrieved 9 December 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)