Tindall reinstated in England squad and fine cut on appeal

FORMER England captain Mike Tindall has been handed an international lifeline after he was reinstated to the elite player squad last night, following a successful appeal over the ban he received for his conduct at the World Cup.

The Gloucester centre was reprimanded after the controversial night out in Queenstown that followed England’s opening win over Argentina in Dunedin. Tindall (right) was fined an unprecedented £25,000 but that punishment has now been significantly cut to £15,000.

Although it remains unlikely that the 33-year-old 75-cap Test veteran will win back his place in time for the start of February’s Six Nations, the door at least remains open to a potential return.

Meanwhile, the appeal outcome is likely to appease The Rugby Players’ Association who described the original sanction as “extraordinary.

The U-turn is the latest blow to the authority of beleaguered RFU chief Rob Andrew, who handed down the original verdict after an investigation by Karena Vleck, the union’s legal and governance director.

Explaining his decision, acting RFU chief executive Martyn Thomas said there were mitigating factors which needed to be taken into account.

He said: “Mike did not intentionally mislead the RFU team management when he stated that he could not remember where he was on the night of 11 September. Mike expressed deep regret during the appeal meeting.”