England rugby officials removed former captain Mike Tindall from the elite player squad and fined him 25,000 pounds ($40,000) after he was videoed in a bar during the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.
Tindall, who is married to the Queen’s granddaughter Zara Phillips, was caught on a bar’s closed circuit television on a night out with an ex-girlfriend and then misled team managers. The 33-year-old center, who played more than 70 times for his country, said he’ll appeal the punishment, which was announced by the Rugby Football Union today in an e-mail.
“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 code of conduct, England’s Professional Rugby Director Rob Andrew said in the statement. “While we acknowledge his previous good character it needs to be made clear that what he did will not be tolerated.”
The Rugby Players Association said Tindall will appeal the fine, which it called “extraordinary.”
Two other players, Chris Ashton and James Haskell, were given suspended 5,000 pound fines for an incident at the team hotel, the RFU said. The governing body said the players weren’t guilty of sexually harassing a member of the hotel staff, but shouldn’t have been in the situation.
Player Dylan Hartley was found to have played no part in the situation with the hotel worker.