Tindall expected to be ruled out of Grand Slam decider

ENGLAND captain Mike Tindall is today expected to be ruled of his side’s Grand Slam decider against Ireland on Saturday.

Tindall has led Martin Johnson’s side to four consecutive victories in this year’s RBS 6 Nations in the absence of Lewis Moody, whose knee ligament injury paved the way for the World Cup winner to captain the team for the first time.

The 32-year-old (right), who was winning his 70th cap, injured his left ankle in Sunday’s scrappy 22-16 victory over Scotland and was replaced at half-time by Bath powerhouse Matt Banahan.

The Gloucester centre lifted the Calcutta Cup but then left Twickenham in a protective boot to undergo x-rays.

Tindall, a veteran of England’s last Grand Slam campaign back in 2003, will be assessed further by England medics when the squad reconvenes at Pennyhill Park today.

If Tindall is, as expected, ruled out of the Dublin clash, Nick Easter would be the leading candidate to captain England.

But England could face a further problem if Banahan is cited for the way he flattened Scotland No8 Kelly Brown with his forearm.

Scotland’s head coach Andy Robinson said he will study the video to see if Banahan had illegally used his forearm on Brown who was carried off with a head injury, though he later recovered and may face Italy on Saturday at Murrayfield.

If Banahan is cited and subsequently banned, England will be looking for yet another option at centre.