Tindall restored to Gloucester line-up for trip to Bath

Mike Tindall, one of the few remaining World Cup winners from 2003 still active on the international scene, will lead Gloucester in tonight's Premiership derby with Bath at the Recreation Ground. This should have been a no-brainer, given the thirty-something centre's status as club captain, but Tindall has not been in the finest of fettle this season, hence his relegation to the bench for last weekend's Wasps match. The England coaches will be relieved if he delivers something half-decent against his old employers this evening.

Tindall is currently the preferred choice at outside centre as far as Martin Johnson, the national manager, is concerned. He reclaimed the No 13 shirt from Mathew Tait for the Six Nations finale against the Grand Slam-hunting French in Paris – Johnson being Johnson, he did not trust the choirboyish Tait to deal with the elephantine midfield rumblings of Mathieu Bastareaud – and held his place for both summer Tests in Australia. All things being equal, the selectors will want to see him squaring up to the All Blacks at Twickenham in five weeks' time. If he can do a little equalising this evening, so much the better.

Gloucester make the short trip south with Dave Lewis at scrum-half – Rory Lawson, who skippered the side in Tindall's absence, is recovering from an operation to pin together a busted bone in his hand – and Alex Brown, an acknowledged line-out burglar, in the engine room. This means Dave Attwood, one of the men pushing for a place in the England second row, must make do on the replacements' bench. He will not be best pleased.

Sale, almost as resilient at home as they are fragile on the road, will have the reassuring figure of Charlie Hodgson at outside-half for this evening's match with Wasps. One of the more intelligent game managers in England, he has recovered fully from shoulder surgery and has an opportunity to force his way back into Johnson's thinking with the World Cup in New Zealand less than a year away.

"I'm not going to worry too much about 12 months' time," he said. "Things change in rugby day by day, so this is about concentrating on Sale and being successful for them. This game will be tough: I've done a lot of training, but there's no substitute for match fitness and I'm bound to be a bit rusty."

Last season, Wasps refused to play on what they considered to be a dangerous pitch at Edgeley Park, forcing a last-minute postponement and leaving thousands of supporters already in the ground with nothing to watch but the steadily lengthening queues at the bar. Much to the astonishment of Sale, the Londoners were subsequently cleared of any wrong-doing: the wise men of the Premier Rugby board dumped the blame on the referee, David Rose, instead. "It's been spoken of among the paying public, but the players aren't really thinking about it," said Hodgson of that sorry episode.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
tvStrictly presenter returns to screens after Halloween accident
News
peopleFormer civil rights activist who was jailed for smoking crack cocaine has died aged 78
News
i100
News
Boxing promoter Kellie Maloney, formerly known as Frank Maloney, entered the 2014 Celebrity Big Brother house
people
Sport
Dwight Gayle (left) celebrates making it 1-1 with Crystal Palace captain Mile Jedinak
premier leagueReds falter to humbling defeat
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible
Look what's mushrooming now! Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector

Look what's mushrooming now!

Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector
Neil Findlay is more a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

More a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

The vilification of the potential Scottish Labour leader Neil Findlay shows how one-note politics is today, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Tenderstem broccoli omelette; Fried eggs with Mexican-style tomato and chilli sauce; Pan-fried cavolo nero with soft-boiled egg

Oeuf quake

Bill Granger's cracking egg recipes
Terry Venables: Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back

Terry Venables column

Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back
Michael Calvin: Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Those at the top are allowing the same issues to go unchallenged, says Michael Calvin