The English papers have been filled with rugby news these days, and with the World Cup less than two weeks away, we’re starting to see rugby players featured in other parts of the papers, much like when the Seahawks head to the Super Bowl and Russell Wilson and Richard Sherman show up in the Features section talking about all things except football.
Same here. Ben Machell with The Times of London did a piece on the post-pro rugby life of Mike Tindall, who talked about being a father and about his marriage to Zara Phillips, grand daughter of Queen Elizabeth. Tindall, 36, has 75 caps for England and was part of the 2003 World Cup champions. The article points out that his most known exploit during the 2011 World Cup in New Zealand was leading teammates on a drinking spree that included a visit to a bar that featured dwarf throwing.
The writer spent some time wondering about Tindall’s oft-broke nose, describing it as a “much-loved chewable dog toy; a normal nose staggering home after ten pints; something by Picasso.”
You gotta love this about Tindall: While not playing professional rugby any more, he hasn’t given up the game. He plays for Minchinhampton, an amateur side, but to level the playing field he has made a rule that he will not score any tries.
On the same day as the Tindall article, The Times featured Lewis Moody, another former England player, who has put his house up for rent for RWC fans. The four-bedroom , three-bathroom house goes for 150 pounds a night. The Bath house is offered on Airbnb and the rent goes to the Lewis Moody Foundation, set up to help children and families affected by serious illness.
Careful though before you jump at a chance to stay there. Moody, who played 71 times for England and was also on the 2003 team, has set down some special rules: No Wales or New Zealand All-Black rugby shirts; no haka; and you must sing “God Save the Queen” every morning at 8.
And no parties — unless England wins the Cup.