On This Day in 2014: England centre Mike Tindall retires from rugby

Tindall hung up his boots at the age of 35.

By Press Association Published: 15 July 2021 - 5.00am

World Cup-winning England centre Mike Tindall announced his retirement from rugby on this day in 2014.

Tindall, 35 at the time, became the final member of Sir Clive Woodward’s triumphant 2003 squad to call time on his playing career.

He confirmed his decision four days after good friend and former team-mate Iain Balshaw became the penultimate member of England’s World Cup-winning side to retire.

Tindall captained England during the Six Nations' tournament in 2011
Mike Tindall captained England during the Six Nations’ tournament in 2011 (Steve Parsons/PA)

Tindall, born in Otley, West Yorkshire, won 75 caps for England during his 17-year playing career, scoring a try on his international debut against Ireland in 2000.

He captained England in 2011, scored 14 tries in total and made his final appearance for his country the same year.

His international career was tainted after he was thrown out of the England squad and fined £25,000 by the Rugby Football Union for his “unacceptable” drunken conduct during the 2011 World Cup, held in New Zealand from September to October.

Tindall, who had attended a ‘dwarf-racing contest’ at a Queenstown bar, was later reinstated by England on appeal and saw his fine reduced to £15,000.

Tindall and Zara Phillips, daughter of Anne, Princess Royal, married in Edinburgh in 2011
Tindall and Zara Phillips, daughter of Anne, Princess Royal, married in Edinburgh in 2011 (Dylan Martinez/PA)

In July that same year, Tindall had married Zara Phillips, the daughter of Anne, Princess Royal, in Edinburgh.

He joined first club Bath in 1997 straight from Queen Elizabeth Grammar School in Wakefield and made 108 appearances before signing for West Country rivals Gloucester in 2005.

Tindall featured in 181 games for Gloucester and in 2012 became player-coach at the club.

When announcing his retirement, Tindall told BBC Five Live: “It wasn’t a hard decision in the end. It was a case of staying another year at Gloucester or retiring.

“I didn’t want to go and play at another club so it was an easy decision. No way would I change anything or feel sad about anything.”

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