Tindall back in England elite squad
Mike Tindall has been reinstated in England's elite player squad and had a £25,000 fine reduced to £15,000 after an appeal against the punishment meted out for his off-field World Cup behaviour.
The England and Gloucester centre appealed the original Rugby Football Union punishment which saw him kicked out of the squad and hit with a sizeable fine.
But Tindall, whose appeal was heard by acting RFU chief executive Martyn Thomas, received backing from the Rugby Players' Association.
A statement from the RFU read: "Mike Tindall's fine for breaches of the England elite player squad agreement during the 2011 Rugby World Cup has been reduced from £25,000 to £15,000 and he has been reinstated into the squad."
The RPA described Tindall's fine as "unprecedented" and "extraordinary," and the verdict announced has potentially salvaged Tindall's England career. The initial sanction came after RFU elite rugby director Rob Andrew and legal and governance director Karena Vleck took evidence about 33-year-old Tindall's behaviour with a blonde woman in Queenstown.
Tindall, who is married to the queen's granddaughter Zara Phillips, heard his behaviour described as unacceptable.
But in announcing his decision -- it follows an appeal hearing held at a secret location last week -- Thomas said he felt mitigating factors did not appear to have been taken into account.