English RFU dismisses 'dwarf-throwing' story
THEY used to say what goes on tour stays on tour but in the age of global media scrutiny the omerta of the camp is no longer sacred
And yesterday a very red-faced England management team was forced to defend centre Mike Tindall following allegations of inappropriate behaviour on a team night out during the World Cup in New Zealand at a 'Mad Midget Weekender' event, where some England players were pictured wrestling with dwarves.
Explosive headlines yesterday morning alleged Tindall, who recently married Queen Elizabeth's granddaughter, Zara Phillips, pictured, was acting inappropriately while drinking in a Queenstown bar where a "dwarf-throwing contest" was the primary entertainment, following victory over Argentina last Saturday.
However, an England spokesman has been quick to play down the story and, in a statement issued by the RFU, insisted there was nothing untoward about the conduct of Tindall -- who captained against The Pumas.
"Mike and several of the players were enjoying an evening out after he had led the team to a hard-earned victory over Argentina," the spokesman said.
"Like all the lads he plays for England with a massive amount of passion and he was relaxing after a tough match."
The RFU statement added there would be no further comment.
The manager of The Altitude Bar, where the players were drinking, also moved to dismiss the story, insisting the England squad in attendance were impeccably behaved.
"Firstly: there was no dwarf throwing -- that's just not cool," read a comment by Rich Deane on the bar's Facebook page.
"Secondly: there was no scandal by any of the English rugby players that we saw! They were great lads, not throwing the midgets, it was all light-hearted, good-humoured fun! This is the tabloids taking photos out of context and telling silly stories."
Before England left for the World Cup, team manager Martin Johnson announced he would not be imposing drink bans on his players.
England continue against Georgia on Sunday.