LONDON: Mike Tindall’s partial exoneration and restoration to English rugby’s elite player squad will allow the 2003 World Cup winner a more dignified exit from the international set-up, but it does little to banish the image of a governing body in disarray.
Tindall was booted out of the squad and fined US$38,900 earlier this month for his antics on a night out in Queensland during England’s dismal World Cup campaign.
The 33-year-old, who earlier this year married the Queen’s grand-daughter Zara Phillips, was punished after being captured on film drinking with a “mystery blonde” as one tabloid termed it, and wrestling with team-mates.
He remained part of the England team throughout the campaign, but the incident, and an absence of any apology from the vice captain, dogged England throughout the World Cup.
The centre was removed from the squad on his return following an inquest led by the Rugby Football Union’s elite rugby director Rob Andrew.
That the RFU’s acting chief executive Martyn Thomas on Monday night over-turned the punishment, and reduced the fine toUS$23,300.— Reuters