Wedding revellers get back to work
August 1, 2011
England centre Mike Tindall returns to training after his high-profile wedding at the weekend © Getty Images
England centre Mike Tindall was given a rude awakening on his return to his side's Rugby World Cup training base following his high-profile royal wedding to Zara Phillips on Saturday.
Tindall was joined at his Edinburgh nuptials by a host of his team-mates including Chris Ashton, Lewis Moody, Steve Thompson, Danny Care and Jonny Wilkinson with reports suggesting the party continued into the following day. But England manager Martin Johnson, who has cut his squad down to 40 players ahead of back-to-back World Cup warm-up games against Wales, put his men through a rigorous fitness test on their return.
"They normally give us [fitness] programmes through the weekend but they didn't last weekend because they knew a few of us would be going up to the wedding and having a drink," said Ashton. "It gave people a bit of a chance to relax knowing that we were going to go hard this morning in fitness tests and I think they have managed to get us back if we had a drink this weekend!"
Asked whether any of the England players were sick during the test, overseen by national fitness coach Calvin Morris, Ashton joked: "No one ate breakfast!"
Tindall was given an extra night away from camp but returned to Pennyhill Park today and was training with the squad this afternoon. "Mike went up Thursday lunchtime and he is back now - he probably feels like he has never been away," said Johnson, who was also one of the guests. "He looked fine. Anyone who is fit is in the reckoning to play at the weekend. We will announce the squad on Thursday."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
It's time for those running Welsh rugby to stop trying to prevent its players heading to France and to start planning a future without them, writes Martin Williamson
Paul Eddison explains how the French sold English clubs down the river and why their domestic game will go from strength to strength
'Nothing can prepare you for the noise of the Millennium Stadium though, you just can't hear anything." Tom Hamilton talks to Cory Allen
Following a weekend where Wales suffered more heartbreak against Australia and the Aviva Premiership showed its class, the Monday Maul looks back at some of the key talking points