Tindall and Johnson keen to move on
September 22, 2011
England captain Mike Tindall looks on during head coach Martin Johnson's team announcement © Getty Images
Mike Tindall has insisted that he has been unaffected by the controversy surrounding his actions during a night out with some of his England team-mates last week.
The Gloucester centre, who is married to the Queen's grand-daughter, Zara Phillips, found himself on the front page of a number of tabloid newspapers after he was captured on CCTV in conversation with a woman in Queenstown's Altitude Bar two days after England's Rugby World Cup win over Argentina.
Tindall did not feature in his country's next outing, against Georgia last weekend, but he has been recalled for Saturday's meeting with Romania and his appearance at Thursday's team announcement was his first public appearance since the 'story' broke.
The Rugby Football Union (RFU) announced before the press conference that only questions of a rugby nature would be permitted and team manager Martin Johnson was quick to interject when Tindall was asked if he felt that the controversy had been a distraction for the rest of the squad. "We have put it to bed. We are looking forward to a big game, we are playing Romania," the World Cup winner said.
Tindall, though, went on to claim that he has not been unduly affected by all of the unwanted media attention. "Not really, you just get on and train. You want to play every game and I was disappointed I didn't get a run out last weekend but you work hard and hope you get picked by the coach every week. It is as simple as that."
Johnson interjected once more when Tindall was asked by a reporter whether he had anything to add, whether he wanted to show some "contrition" or offer an explanation for the events in Queenstown.
"I said to you last week what happened, the guys went out and had a drink. We had that conversation last week," the legendary lock said. "We have moved on. We have played a game and we have another one this week."
Meanwhile, according to a source close to Tindall and Phillips, the woman in the CCTV footage is an old friend of the newlyweds. It is also understood that Phillips is to attend Saturday's match in Dunedin.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Huw Richards profiles French forward Walter Spanghero, a man who even rugby's hard men thought was a tough nut
"To be part of the Commonwealth Games, I'd wear anything. I'd wear a clown suit." Tom Hamilton talks to Scotland's Sean Lamont
Scrum Sevens looks back at how rugby has fared in both the early Olympics and the past four Commonwealth Games
"Cheika's been phenomenal. He gives you an incredible level of mental strength." Tom Hamilton talks to Waratahs star Jacques Potgieter