London - Mike Tindall was on Friday fined £25 000 and booted out of the England rugby union squad following his
off-field antics during the World Cup, the Rugby Football Union
Flanker James Haskell and winger Chris Ashton were also
given £5 000 suspended fines for their actions in a separate incident,
while hooker Dylan Hartley was cleared.
England endured a
shambolic World Cup campaign in New Zealand, a quarter-final exit
overshadowed by numerous lurid tales about poor off-field behaviour.
most high-profile concerned an evening visit to a Queenstown bar that
made headlines because of security footage showing Tindall, recently
married to the Queen's granddaughter Zara Phillips, in conversation with
"Mike Tindall has been removed from the England Elite
Player Squad with immediate effect and fined £25 000 for his conduct
around the events that took place in Queenstown on the night of Sunday,
September 11, 2011," the RFU said in a statement.
Rob Andrew, the
RFU's Professional Rugby Director, added: "We have considered all the
evidence carefully and interviewed the players at length. These actions
have not been taken lightly but we believe that in all these cases the
sanctions are commensurate with the level of seriousness of what
"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 EPS (Elite Player Squad) Code of Conduct. Whilst
we acknowledge his previous good character it needs to be made clear
that what he did will not be tolerated."
Haskell and Ashton, whose
fines were suspended until December 31, 2012, were sanctioned for
inappropriate conduct towards a member of hotel staff in Dunedin.
the events in Dunedin, it should be stressed that the allegations of
very serious wrong-doing made against Chris Ashton, Dylan Hartley and
James Haskell by Annabel Newton, a member of staff at the team hotel,
were entirely false," admitted Andrew.
"We do not believe the players had any intention to sexually harass or intimidate Ms Newton.
the incident is precisely the kind of dangerous, compromising situation
the players were warned about prior to departure for New Zealand and
that they were specifically told to avoid in the EPS Code of Conduct.
we found that Dylan Hartley played no part in the ill-considered
exchange with Annabel Newton, Chris Ashton and James Haskell's behaviour
on September 9 did breach the EPS Code of Conduct and they have each
been given suspended fines of 5,000."
Andrew added: "Finally,
these episodes and the subsequent disciplinary action should stand as a
strong reminder that the highest standards of personal conduct are
expected from any England player on and off the field."
The players have three days in which to appeal.