Tindall final player of '03 England side to call it day
The most glorious era of English rugby was finally brought to a close yesterday when Mike Tindall became the last member of the 2003 World Cup-winning squad to announce his retirement.
Tindall, who played in all seven games of the victorious campaign in Australia, had hoped to continue in a player-coach role at Gloucester next season but was not offered a new contract following the appointment last month of Ireland's David Humphreys as director of rugby.
It is thought that Bristol, of the Championship, had expressed an interest in offering a player-coach role but the 35-year-old decided instead to call time on a 17-year career that brought him 75 caps, seven as captain. He scored 14 tries.
Tindall, married to the Queen of England's grand-daughter, Zara Phillips, is now expected to focus on a career in the media.
"After 17 years, it's time to retire from rugby," Tindall announced. "I have been lucky to play with/against some great players, two great clubs and have had some amazing times."
The announcement came four days after Iain Balshaw, the Biarritz full-back who was on the bench in the World Cup final victory against Australia in Sydney, confirmed his retirement after failing to recover from a knee injury.
Balshaw's decision briefly left Tindall as the sole member of the squad still playing following the retirement at the end of last season of star out-half Jonny Wilkinson.