Nigel Davies hails Gloucester’s Mike Tindall ahead of milestone
Gloucester director of rugby Nigel Davies heaps praise on Mike Tindall ahead of a potential 200th Premiership appearance
Nigel Davies has hailed Gloucester centre Mike Tindall’s amazing career ahead of this weekend’s round of Aviva Premiership fixtures.
If the 35-year-old takes to the field against Harlequins on Saturday, it will be his 200th Premiership appearance.
The fact of the matter is that he’s not just making his 200th appearance, he’s actually playing very well at the moment
Tindall made his Premiership debut for the Cherry & Whites West Country rivals Bath in 1997 and is on the verge of a milestone reached only by 22 players, including former team-mate Alex Brown.
Former England colleague Mark Cueto also set to reach the landmark this weekend if he plays for Sale Sharks against Worcester.
“It’s an amazing achievement, it really is,” said Gloucester director of rugby Davies.
“The fact of the matter is that he’s not just making his 200th appearance, he’s actually playing very well at the moment. He was outstanding last weekend up at Leicester.”
It is 17 years since Otley-born Tindall joined Bath from school at the age of 18 and was forced to bide his time for club and country eventually becoming a regular two seasons later.
The outside centre was part of Sir Clive Woodward’s Rugby World Cup squad in Australia in 2003, appearing in the group stages and final after being dropped for the semi-final but was often set back by injuries – breaking his leg in 2007 and “lucky to be alive” after a collision with Wales wing Mark
Jones in the 2008 Six Nations resulted in internal bleeding and a perforated liver after he was kicked in the chest.
He called time on his international career in 2011, amassing 74 points from 75 caps, becoming a backs coach with Gloucester in 2012, a deal which was extended for another year allowing him to have a greater influence on a young side.
“His influence on the team is very important because they are a young group. We’re trying to develop leadership within the group, but there aren’t a lot of natural leaders there,” Davies added.
“Someone like Mike adds a lot of value to the team, a lot of the stuff that you don’t see in terms of the way he energises and drives the group.
“His own individual performance was very good at the weekend and, if he can maintain those standards, at the age he is going into his 200th appearance, it says a lot about the character of the man.”