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Tom Varndell agrees contract extension with Bristol

Tom Varndell has signed a one-year contract extension to remain with Bristol Rugby until summer 2018.

The former England wing has equalled the all-time Aviva Premiership try-scoring record in spearheading Bristol's survival dogfight this term.

The 31-year-old has moved level with former Sale and England flyer Mark Cueto on 90 career league tries, and will now seek to make that record his own.

"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 still sit bottom of the table with two wins from 13 matches, but are now trail Worcester by just one point.

Varndell has claimed five tries in seven league appearances this term, and is determined to help Bristol beat the drop.

"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."

Bristol have pulled off the coup of securing Connacht's Pat Lam as their new head coach for next term, with the club intent on ensuring he arrives at a Premiership outfit.

Acting boss Mark Tainton believes Varndell can still prove crucial to that quest.

"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."

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