Leading Team GB to a silver medal at the Rio Olympic Games last August added to the distinctions of Tom Mitchell. His tackling and total involvement were among the features of a landmark tournament in which he also landed ten of his11 conversion attempts, including the one that beat South Africa 7-5 in the semi-final.
He was already well used to plaudits. The accolade of being the top points-scorer in the 2013/14 HSBC Sevens World Series went to Tom, who amassed 358 in his eye-catching season. He finished 98 points ahead of Fijian Samisoni Viriviri but injury ruled him out of the first tournament of 2014/15 on the Gold Coast.
A try in each of his first three matches in the World Series at Wellington in February 2012 launched Tom’s career. He combined his initial season on the circuit with a Historical Studies course at Kellogg College, Oxford.
Tom began with a try against the Cook Islands and then scored against the United States and South Africa along the way to England finishing third in the Wellington tournament. A week later, he added three tries in the Las Vegas event against Brazil, Kenya and Argentina and kicked six conversions in Hong Kong in March 2012 before bagging three tries and seven conversions in Tokyo.
He scored five tries and 57 points in England's run to the 2012 Glasgow final with 26 more in London to take his total last season to 150. Tom then signed a full-time Sevens contract and has since taken his try tally to 103 and points to 1,145 in 42 World Series events.
Tom’s 99th try came from his own chip ahead and catch as England beat Fiji, the reigning World Series champions, 40-7 in the Cup semi-final in Vancouver this March. He then led the side to the gold medal with a 19-7 victory over South Africa in the final. He was the third highest scorer in the 2016/17 World Series with 248 points, 37 fewer than Perry Baker of the USA, having missed the tournaments in Singapore and London.
His latest major points’ contribution was 42 in the Vancouver event, 32 in Sydney and 33 in Wellington after scoring 40 when leading England to their Cape Town Cup triumph in December. He had amassed 45 during this season’s first tournament in Dubai the previous weekend. He was the joint second highest scorer there, along with teammate Dan Norton and Ethan Davies, of Wales.
He amassed 216 points in the 2014/15 HSBC Sevens World Series before sustaining a fracture of the lower left leg in the Cup semi-final against the United States at Twickenham. He led England to fourth place in the final standings for the season. One of his most recent tries came from a stunning solo effort after kicking ahead against South Africa in the Tokyo final that England won 21-14. He said afterwards: “I am unbelievably proud of this team. I am glad we stuck to our processes and really believed in what we could do.”
Tom led England for the first time when they won the Plate in the Las Vegas event in January 2014 and he was the tournament’s second highest points-scorer with 44 behind Cameron Clark, of Australia.
His other distinctions include helping England to reach the 2013 RWC Sevens final in Moscow, to take third place at the Gold Coast tournament in October 2013 and fourth place in Dubai the following month.
Born in Cuckfield, he is a product of Worth School in West Sussex and obtained a BA in English and Philosophy at Bristol University before going to Oxford. At 15-a-side, he can play at centre and full back as well as fly half and he led England Students in their 29-25 defeat by the Portugal national side in Lisbon.
He helped Oxford to beat Cambridge 28-10 in the 2011 Varsity Match by scoring their third and final try and he led the Great Britain Students side to the World Universities title in Brive in July 2012.
Last updated: 24 May 2017