Tindall referred to ankle specialist
March 15, 2011
Mike Tindall remains a doubt for England's Grand Slam decider © Getty Images
England skipper Mike Tindall faces an anxious wait to learn whether he will be able to lead the side in their Grand Slam decider against Ireland after being referred to an ankle specialist.
The Gloucester centre suffered ligament damage in the first-half of England's 22-16 victory over Scotland last weekend and has been forced to wear a protective boot.
Tindall, who was cleared of a fracture on Sunday night, underwent an MRI scan on Monday and England's medics have decided to seek a specialist opinion on the results.
If Tindall is forced to miss the trip to Dublin, Nick Easter would be the leading candidate to take over the captaincy, while Matt Banahan is set to take over the No.13 jersey, as he did in the second-half against Scotland.
"Of course losing Mike would be a blow, and especially so for Mike himself after what he has done for the team, but leadership is one part of our game that has really developed over the last 12 months," England manager Martin Johnson said.
"If Mike is not fit to go, then the guys will just crack on. Matt did really well in that position when he came on, while the leadership within the group has been sound."
Mark Cueto is in line to rack up his 50th cap this weekend but the experienced Sale winger has his eye on only one thing - ending his trophy drought with England.
"You play for 10 years in this game and you can count on one hand the number of times you get something tangible out of the game," Cueto said. "I am in my seventh year with England and I have never won anything. I am not getting any younger and it is massive opportunity this weekend on a personal level.
"We are going into probably one of the biggest games an England team have had since that 2007 World Cup final. I massively appreciate playing for England. There are plenty of players who have never done it and it is an achievement in itself. I am respectful of that. To win my 50th cap in Dublin will definitely be something special, it is something you always dream about - but you want to be successful, you want to win things."
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