THE RFU has expressed its dismay and regret that an advertisement celebrating England winning the Grand Slam was leaked.
The video, made by kit suppliers Nike, shows several players, including Toby Flood, Chris Ashton and Ben Foden, in a series of action clips.
The advert, which was leaked on the internet earlier this week signs off with an image of England’s red rose emblem on top of a caption reading ‘Grand Slam Champions 2011’.
The video’s release is highly embarrassing for the RFU after Martin Johnson’s side were demolished 24-8 by Ireland on Saturday, ending their hopes of completing a first championship clean sweep since 2003.
In a statement they said: “In no way did the RFU or the England team underestimate the challenge that the Ireland team would pose.
“We were well beaten by a team who played better and we have the utmost respect for (Ireland coach) Declan Kidney and his players.”
On a positive note for England, Mike Tindall should be fit for England’s World Cup warm-up game with Wales on 6 August.
Tindall will miss the rest of the season after undergoing surgery to repair ligament damage suffered during England’s win over Scotland.
The Gloucester centre has told manager Johnson that he will postpone his honeymoon in order to be available for selection.
Tindall is due to marry Zara Phillips in Edinburgh on 30 July but Johnson said: “He spoke to me and said he is getting married at the end of July.
“I said it is a week before the first game and he said ‘right, I’m available’.
“We will have further conversations. There is a lot to play out between now and then.”
WOAH THERE | PREMATURE CELEBRATIONS
Jermain Defoe wore a vest under his Spurs shirt celebrating 100 Premier League goals in Saturday’s 0-0 draw with West Ham - he’s still on 99.
Arsenal’s players wore t-shirts saying ’50 not out’ under their kits in a match at Old Trafford in 2004 to celebrate going 50 games unbeaten. United won the game 2-0.
Chelsea advertised shirts with Robinho’ s name on them despite the fact a deal had not been agreed – he later signed for Manchester City.