Varndell focuses on Tigers
Tom Varndell is refusing to think about a possible England call-up despite his hat-trick in Leicester's 42-13 rout over Harlequins.
By Tony Curtis
Last Updated: 06/01/08 6:27pm
Leicester's hat-trick hero Tom Varndell is refusing to think about a possible England call-up despite his man-of-the-match performance in the 42-13 rout over Harlequins.
The Tigers winger has been strongly tipped to be in Brian Ashton's 32-man squad for the Si Nations when it is announced on Wednesday.
However, having been farmed out to Bedford at the start of last season after losing his way, Varndell is just concentrating on maintaining his impressive form in the Premiership.
He told Sky Sports 1: "I have worked hard with the coaches and the coaches have been really good to me. They stuck by me when I wasn't playing so great last year.
"Today was good. I got some ball in hand and it was nice to get some tries.
"I don't know [about making the England squad]. I am just focusing on Leicester.
"There are a lot of good wingers around for England and they are all playing well. I have just got to focus on myself and England."
Varndell's hat-trick was the highlight of a complete display for Leicester, with Tom Croft also scoring twice.
And Varndell believes the Tigers have finally put their recent woes behind them as they look to climb back up the Premiership table.
He added: "The boys played well and we needed that today.
"We were fifth in the Premiership and needed the bonus so was a good day for us. We can build on that.
"It has been a tough couple of weeks since Toulouse but we pulled it out today.
"The forwards and backs gelled really for the first time. We got good solid ball and the back ran their moves well."
Harlequins director of rugby Dean Richards labelled his side's second-half collapse as "unnacceptable" as they slumped to an eighth defeat in 10 games.
But Richards, who won 48 caps in the England back row, had strong words of support for Croft's international claims.
"He is an outstanding talent. I think he is a really good player. He has everything. He might lack a little experience but you could throw him into the England team and I don't think it would hurt the England team at all.
"For us, there are very few positives we can take out of today. We knew we would be up against it but to implode as we did in the 20 minutes after half-time is unacceptable."