Mike Tindall has been round the rugby block. He’ll be 35 in October, he’s won the World Cup, and he’s been capped more than 70 times by England. Now out of the international fold, Tindall has been re-invigorated by Nigel Davies’ decision at Gloucester Rugby last summer to give him a role that combined playing with coaching the backs at Kingsholm. It’s a role Tindall has signed to extend for another year. It will be his ninth at Gloucester in all.
“I think we both knew a long time ago it would happen” Tindall told me. “We’ve been talking but Nigel had other spots in the squad to concentrate on first.”
With the deal done – after a season in which Tindall played some part in 28 out of Gloucester’s 33 games – Tindall was pleased to see team mates Billy Twelvetrees, Freddie Burns and the uncapped Jonny May selected for England’s tour to Argentina this summer, along with number eight Ben Morgan and flanker Matt Kvesic, who joins Gloucester from Worcester in July.
“My most important role at the club is to make others become better players, and improve us a whole group. I have a lot of experience but I am still open to learning too. You have to invest time into the coaching side to learn it, and you watch lots of games, but it has opened my eyes. It’s been tough with doing the training as well but I’ve enjoyed it.”
Tindall confessed that he had been able to combine both roles – and training – last season because he has been lucky with degenerative injuries throughout his career, and because of the input of Gloucester’s strength and conditioning coach, Paddy Anson.
“It’s rare I don’t do sessions” he said. “I’m a competitor and don’t give up easily. Next season ? I’m going to try and play just as much. It probably won’t happen but I’ll make it as hard as possible for the other guys. Sunday to Tuesday I’m working as a coach and then from Tuesday night onwards, depending on selection, that might change but the coaching gives me a good insight into what the others are thinking.”
Gloucester Rugby has also announced a new three year deal with local company Adey to be their main sponsor.
Photograph : Copyright http://www.gloucesterrugby.co.uk