Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Tindall Told His Test Days Are Now Over

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Tindall Told His Test Days Are Now Over

Article excerpt

Byline: Chris Jones Rugby Correspondent

[bar] IKE TINDALL'S England career is over, with Stuart Lancaster informing the 2003 World Cup winner he has failed to make the Elite Player Squad for the Six Nations.

Standard Sport understands that Lancaster, who was appointed interim team manager after Martin Johnson quit following the 2011 World Cup debacle, called Tindall to tell him that the new squad will not feature many "older players" when it is named on January 11.

This also throws into doubt the England future of Nick Easter. The Harlequins No8's form warrants inclusion, but at 33 -- the same age as Tindall -- he could fall victim to Lancaster's belief that younger players must be chosen.

Shontayne Hape, the London Irish centre, 30, expects to be axed and admitted: "I wouldn't say no if I was selected but I wouldn't be hanging my hat on it."

Tindall's 11-year, 75-cap Test career will now be remembered for his appearance on CCTV footage taken at a bar during England's troubled World Cup in New Zealand. Tindall had captained the side to victory in their opening pool match against Argentina and the players were then allowed to go drinking in Queensland, where the Gloucester centre was pictured drunk and being kissed by a blonde friend.

The furore led to his wife, Zara Phillips, the Queen's granddaughter, flying out early to meet with Tindall and while he avoided being sent home from the tournament, a Rugby Football Union inquiry initially threw him out of the squad and fined him [pounds sterling]25,000 for his behaviour. England's most capped centre then won an appeal which saw him reinstated to the squad and his fine cut to [pounds sterling]15,000 but now finds himself completely out of the playing picture.

The news comes as Tindall prepares to face London Wasps in a sell-out Boxing Day match at Kingsholm during a festive period that proves the club game is in great health despite England's problems at Test level. …

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