Landmark man Tindall enjoying Indian summer

England's Mike Tindall.
England's Mike Tindall.
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As one famous No 13 takes centre stage at Twickenham today, a hundred miles or so west, another great exponent of the outside centre’s shirt makes a landmark appearance.

Yorkshireman Mike Tindall plays his 200th Premiership game when he leads Gloucester out against Harlequins, two hours before Brian O’Driscoll locks horns with England.

It is yet another gatepost in the remarkable career of Otley-born Tindall who has played professional rugby ever since leaving Queen Elizabeth Grammar School in Wakefield at the age of 18.

The-35 year-old made his Premiership bow in Bath colours back in 1997-98, and will reach 200 not out at the Kingsholm today.

His longevity has been praised by his current coach Nigel Davies, who has had no hesitation in naming Tindall his club captain.

“It’s an amazing achievement, it really is,” said 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.

“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.

“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 last 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.”

Tindall has enjoyed a stellar career for club and country.

Gloucester is only the second club he has played for, having moved across the west country from Bath in 2005 after making 85 appearances at the Rec.

He has made nearly double that for the Cherry and Whites despite the latter half of his career being interrupted by a multitude of injuries. It is his career in the white of England for which he will be most fondly remembered.

Tindall played 75 times for the red rose from 2000 to 2011, most notably playing his part in the World Cup winning side of 2003.

His international career ended on a sour note when he was fined £25,000 by the Rugby Football Union and removed from the elite player squad as a result of an incident in a night club in New Zealand.

But that is a rare blot on the copybook of one of English rugby’s finest servants.

He has said he will retire at the end of the season but only if it is the “right thing” for Gloucester.