LIGHTNING struck three times on Saturday when Wasps winger Tom Varndell set a new record for the fastest hat-trick in European rugby history.

Varndell’s treble came in just 13 minutes as he put Italians Mogliano Rugby out of their Amlin Challenge Cup misery in double-quick time.

He out-stripped the cover defence to tear down the line for his first try with just 95 seconds on the clock.

His second came after six minutes when he came off his wing to run home from half-way, and history was made in the 13th minute with his easiest finish of the lot.

Director of rugby Dai Young said: “You can never doubt his finishing capabilities. If you put him into space he’s going to run them in for you.

“He had to work hard for his first two tries. He had people to beat and he did that.”

Varndell’s feat came just days after another England snub.

Despite being the runaway top try-scorer in the Aviva Premiership this season and just five away from the all-time record, the 27-year-old hasn’t added to the four international caps he won in the summer of 2005.

Young said: “I know he’s quite disappointed because he didn’t get a call-up, but I know he’s not far from it.

“The English coaches have spoken to him and he’s just got to keep knocking on the door.

“I’m really pleased he’s at Wasps and I’m pleased with his form, and all he can do is keep playing the way he is.”