High profile will suit Tindall
Leinster 30 - Bath 11
Monday 01 November 2004
As centres of attention go, Mike Tindall is a natural for the part. For one thing he plays in the centre for Bath and for England. Then there is the little matter of his romantic liaison with Zara Phillips, the daughter of the Princess Royal.
Yet if that were not enough, the genial Yorkshireman is now being touted as the ideal man to stand in as England captain while Jonny Wilkinson recovers from injury.
The first of the autumn internationals against Canada is 12 days away and the England squad is due to be announced later this week. If the England head coach, Andy Robinson, does hand Tindall the captaincy, the public scrutiny of his professional and private life will only intensify.
Mere mortals would quail at such a prospect, but not Tindall. "It's external happenings, it's not something you can control, so why worry about it?" he said after Bath's Heineken Cup Pool Two defeat against Leinster."If guys want to take photos of an ugly mug like mine, fine, but I've not got a secret address to hide away from them. I will not be changing anything."
It is his unflappable attitude to being in the public eye that marks Tindall out as someone special and the ideal man to lead his country, however temporarily. Certainly Steve Borthwick, his Bath team-mate and another player who is being talked of as an alternative to Tindall for England, regards him as the right man for the job. "Recently he has been having a lot of media attention on issues other than rugby," explained Borthwick, "and he has handled it really well. I would have no problems with him as my captain in any team."
Tindall, while not shying away from the subject, is more pragmatic about the speculation. "Whenever I bump into Robbo [Andy Robinson] he says to me, 'Make sure you keep playing well if you want to get into the [England] team'.
"He is very good at bringing you down to earth and not letting you get above yourself. I am not sitting around thinking about becoming captain of England. I am just getting on with playing."
It would have been better if the whole Bath team had done just that in this match. Tindall certainly tried, but on the occasions when he got close to the line, Leinster's superlative defence held firm. When they went on the attack, the Irish pack competed ferociously at set-pieces and breakdowns, and their backs were always a threat out wide. Not even the loss of Gordon D'Arcy, with a groin strain, diminished the danger.
Leinster: Tries Hickie, D'Arcy, Horgan; Conversions Holwell 3; Penalties Holwell 2; Drop goal D'Arcy. Bath: Try Crockett; Penalties Barkley 2.
Leinster: G Dempsey; S Horgan, B O'Driscoll, G D'Arcy (G Brown, 67), D Hickie; D Holwell, B O'Meara (G Easterby, 80); R Corrigan (capt), S Byrne, E Byrne (R Nebbett, h-t), M O'Kelly, L Cullen, E Miller, V Costello (A McCullen, 71), S Jennings.
Bath: C Malone; A Higgins, R Fleck (S Davey, 19 (N Walshe, 39-h-t)), M Tindall, A Crockett; O Barkley, M Wood (N Walshe, 71); D Barnes, J Humphreys (capt; L Mears, 23-32 & 59), D Bell (M Stevens, 38), S Borthwick, D Grewcock (R Fidler, 65), A Beattie, I Feaunati (G Delve, 71), M Lipman (J Scaysbrook, 77).
Referee: N Williams (Wales).
Sky Sports and BT Sport announce Premier League live matches for 2015/16 with Man United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool in action
Football kits 2015/16: The good, the bad and the downright worst new shirts from around the world for next season
Arturo Vidal to Real Madrid: Transfer news live - Sergio Ramos to Manchester United, Lukas Podolski to leave Arsenal
Chelsea 2015/16 home shirt leaked again as new picture appears online
Wimbledon 2015: 'Heather Watson deserved to win the match,' concedes world No 1 Serena Williams after gruelling contest
- 1 Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
- 2 Van driver who comforted Clark Carlisle and called 999 after suicide attempt dies age 24
- 3 People all over the world are getting semicolon tattoos to draw attention to mental health
- 4 Baby rescued 1km out to sea after parents forgot about her
- 5 Greek debt crisis: The photograph that conveys the despair of Greece's elderly
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture