RUGBY : England’s injury crisis deepened after Mike Tindall became its latest victim and was all but ruled out of next Saturday’s opening Test against Australia.
England’s injury crisis deepened after Mike Tindall became its latest victim and was all but ruled out of next Saturday’s opening Test against Australia.
In the latest blow to Martin Johnson’s plans ahead of the autumn internationals, Tindall limped off with a hamstring injury after just 16 minutes of Gloucester’s 28-23 Guinness Premiership defeat at Sale.
Thirteen of Johnson’s original elite squad are now unavailable because of injury and Gloucester head coach Bryan Redpath said of Tindall’s setback: “It’s a recurrence of his hamstring, but not exactly in the same place.”
The 31-year-old centre, who played alongside Johnson in England’s 2003 World Cup-winning side, attempted to chase his own kick from near the halfway line.
However, he pulled up immediately and looked in severe distress as he trudged off the field with his head in his hands.
Redpath added: “He trained all week and looked great and makes a difference to us when he is here, but sadly he’s aggravated the injury and it’s hard to take.”
While Johnson’s problems are mounting, life is not getting any easier for Redpath as his side lost again despite outscoring Sale by three tries to one.
Redpath added: “To play with 14 men for 50 minutes and still outscore them by three tries to one, I’m delighted. I’ve not questioned the players’ desire and I thought the players’ performance was the best there has been this season, when we played those 50 minutes with 14 men.”
The result eased the pressure on Sale director of rugby Kingsley Jones after a powerful first-half display saw them establish a 16-8 lead.
Jones said: “There was pressure because we needed the win, and sometimes it’s better to win ugly than to lose smart.”