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England drop Tindall for Queenstown shenanigans

Chris Ashton and James Haskell were also landed with suspended fines for their inappropriate behaviour in New Zealand.

Image: David Davies/PA Wire/Press Association Images

MIKE TINDALL HAS been slapped with a £25,000 fine and dropped from the English rugby squad after the RFU found him guilty of “unacceptable” misconduct at the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

The centre caused a storm when his late-night antics in a Queenstown bar were caught on CCTV,  showing him on the arm of a mystery blonde while his team-mates partied with “dwarves.”

The decision to axe Tindall was taken at an RFU disciplinary meeting this morning.

“Mike Tindall’s actions reached a level of misconduct that was unacceptable in a senior England player and amounted to a very serious breach of the EPS Code of Conduct,” the RFU’s Professional Rugby Director Rob Andrew said in a statement.

Whilst we acknowledge his previous good character it needs to be made clear that what he did will not be tolerated.

Two of Tindall’s team-mates, Christ Ashton and James Haskell, were also hit with suspended fines of £5,000 for their part in an “ill-considered exchange” with a female member of staff in a Dunedin hotel.

Hotel maid Annabel Newton quit her job after she alleged that the pair and Dylan Hartley had made lewd sexual comments towards her. Hartley was cleared of all allegations at this morning’s hearing.

“Regarding the events in Dunedin, it should be stressed that the allegations of very serious wrong-doing made against Chris Ashton, Dylan Hartley and James Haskell by Annabel Newton, a member of staff at the team hotel, were entirely false,” Andrew said.

“We do not believe the players had any intention to sexually harass or intimidate Ms Newton.

However, the incident is precisely the kind of dangerous, compromising situation the players were warned about prior to departure for New Zealand and that they were specifically told to avoid in the EPS Code of Conduct.

“Finally, these episodes and the subsequent disciplinary action should stand as a strong reminder that the highest standards of personal conduct are expected from any England player on and off the field.”

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Niall Kelly

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