Sunday 28 December 2014

Tindall final player of '03 England side to call it day

Gavin Mairs

Published 16/07/2014 | 02:30

Mike Tindall had hoped to continue in a player/coach role at Gloucester but was not offered a contract after David Humphreys recent appointment. Photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images
Mike Tindall had hoped to continue in a player/coach role at Gloucester but was not offered a contract after David Humphreys recent appointment. Photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images

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.

Irish Independent

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