Mike Tindall has been restored to the England squad today, following an appeal against his heavy-handed punishment.
It seems slightly immaterial, given that the squad will be reviewed again on 1st January and there’s obviously no England activity between now and then. Is this fair? Is it yet more reason for Rob Andrew to step down?
Here’s the full statement:
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 England Elite Player Squad.
Regarding Mike Tindall, Martyn Thomas, Acting Chief Executive Officer who heard the appeal, said, “We accept that there were mitigating factors which do not appear to have been taken into account to the extent that they might otherwise have been. These include;
i. Mike did not intentionally mislead the RFU team management when he stated that he could not remember where he was on the night of September 11, and that he was relying on other people’s versions of events which were relayed to him
ii. That there was no evidence of any suggestion of sexual impropriety of any nature with the woman in question and we accept the fact that she is a family friend who he has known for a long time
iii. That Mike expressed deep regret during the appeal meeting about his behaviour and that he had apologised to Martin Johnson and the team for the events which unfolded as a consequence
iv. That there was no evidence that Mike had been involved in any incidences in the past which could contribute as aggravating factors.
“Taking all these factors into account we have decided to reduce the fine to £15,000 and reverse the decision to remove Mike from the England Elite Player Squad. It is however important to stress that we believe Mike’s behaviour fell way below that to be expected of somebody of his calibre and experience. He exposed himself to a very compromising position and exposed the rest of the team to damaging publicity.”
“We are aware that the EPS Squad will be reviewed on January 1, 2012 and wish to make it clear that this decision does not prevent those deciding the composition of the EPS Squad from taking into account this incident when making that decision.”