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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 February 2007, 06:31 GMT
Tindall looks to England leaders
By James Standley
BBC Sport at England's training camp

Mike Tindall attempts to burst through a tackle from Wasps wing Tom Voyce
Tindall has been in a good run of form for Gloucester recently

Mike Tindall says the inclusion of several leaders in the England team will help them return to winning ways.

Former captain Martin Corry appeared to lack support during his tenure under previous coach Andy Robinson.

But new captain Phil Vickery, Jonny Wilkinson, former rugby league great Andy Farrell and Tindall have all been praised for their on-field leadership.

"You've got a player for every occasion there, so from that point of view I think we're very lucky," said Tindall.

"Even Faz (former Great Britain rugby league captain Farrell), who is coming in for his first cap has got a massive amount of experience that can help us."

Gloucester centre Tindall, who will win his 50th cap against Scotland on Saturday, says he is looking forward to playing outside Farrell.

"Coming from up north, he's been a big legend to me from his rugby league days and I'm really excited to be playing alongside him and seeing what we can do together," said Tindall.

You're going to make the odd mistake but you can't be punished for making that mistake
England centre Mike Tindall

"As a northern lad you watch a lot of rugby league and you've got to take your hat off to what he achieved at Wigan."

The physically imposing centre pairing will form a new-look England midfield with the recalled Wilkinson, back in the fold after a horrendous run of injuries.

"It's great to see him back. I don't think that it was a gamble in any way," insisted Tindall.

"Every time he does come back he looks sharp, he looks fit. He gets frustrated when he's been away and it seems to make him a better player."

England go into Saturday's Calcutta Cup match on the back of eight defeats in nine games, a run that both Tindall and Wilkinson have had to suffer as spectators.

Wilkinson has not played for England since the World Cup final in 2003, while Tindall has not pulled on the white shirt since the Ireland match in the 2006 Six Nations.

SIX NATIONS BLOG
BBC's England blogger James Standley

The dire run cost former coach Robinson his job but new boss Ashton has vowed to improve the mood around the England team and get them playing with more confidence.

"You're not allowed to train now without a smile," joked Tindall.

"But it's about more than just smiling - it's about challenging yourself and living on the edge of your ability and pushing that boundary, rather than worrying about making a mistake.

"You're going to make the odd mistake but you can't be punished for making that mistake, when you'd have scored if it had come off.

"The excitement and enjoyment comes from not having any shackles when you're worrying about making mistakes.

"When you're not winning games pressure builds, the weight on your shoulders gets bigger and bigger and then it's easier to take the simpler options - but then that's easier for a defence to deal with.

"What we need to do is get back to the unexpected, changing things up and having the ability to vary our game - play it tight, play it wide and keep people guessing, because that's what creates holes in the defence."


SEE ALSO
Josh Lewsey Q&A
01 Feb 07 |  English
England suffer double injury blow
31 Jan 07 |  Rugby Union
Wilkinson confident over comeback
30 Jan 07 |  Rugby Union
Wilkinson is yet to peak - Andrew
30 Jan 07 |  Rugby Union
England pick Wilkinson & Farrell
29 Jan 07 |  English
Fit Wilkinson should play - Catt
27 Jan 07 |  English
Wilkinson set to miss Scots clash
04 Jan 07 |  Rugby Union


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