Tom Varndell extends stay at Bristol

Tom Varndell has scored five tries so far this season
Tom Varndell has scored five tries so far this season

Bristol have announced that wing Tom Varndell has signed a one-year contract extension which will keep him with the Aviva Premiership until 2018.

Last month, the 31-year-old equalled Mark Cueto's premiership record of 90 tries by scoring against Sale Sharks in the Aviva Premiership encounter.

Varndell, who has played four Tests for England between 2005 and 2008 joined Bristol in 2015 and has been a prolific scorer for them since then.

In this season alone, he has scored five tries from seven appearances and is determined to carry forward the momentum with the Ashton Gate outfit.

"I'm delighted to extend my contract with the club - there's a great deal of momentum with us at the moment and everybody wants to keep pushing forward," said Varndell.

"I'm enjoying my rugby and the attacking brand that we are trying to play, it suits my game. I'm settled in the city and there is a great spirit among the squad which is translating into our performances on the pitch in the Premiership right now."

Bristol languish at the bottom of the table this season with 13 points and are in battle with Worcester Warriors, who have 14 points to avoid relegation and Varndell is confident that the side can retain their place in the Premiership.

"I want to continue to represent Bristol in the top flight in the fantastic surroundings at Ashton Gate," said Varndell.

"We have a job to do to keep this club in the Premiership and I'm confident that we can achieve that with the quality and belief we have here."

Interim head coach Mark Tainton lauded the contribution of Varndell, who had represented Wasps and Leicester Tigers in the past.

"When he is at his best, Tom is one of the most dangerous players in the league - he's a major asset to Bristol Rugby and has shown that in his recent performances," said Tainton.

"Tom wants to break that Premiership try-scoring record and he wants to help establish Bristol as a top-flight club, we want individuals with that sort of ambition and confidence in our group."

Current Connacht head coach Pat Lam will take in charge of Bristol from next season.

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