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England await Tindall verdict

England manager Martin Johnson will discover on Tuesday whether he has captain Mike Tindall and Matt Banahan available for this weekend's Grand Slam showdown with Ireland.

Tindall has had an MRI scan on the ankle injury that forced him off at half-time in England's 22-16 victory over Scotland on Sunday. If Tindall is sidelined, Johnson should at least have Banahan available to start at outside centre after early indications suggested he would not be cited for a clash with Kelly Brown.

"Of course losing Mike would be a blow, and especially so for Mike himself after what he has done for the team, but leadership is one part of our game that has really developed over the last 12 months," Johnson said.

"If Mike is not fit to go, then the guys will just crack on.

"Matt did really well in that position when he came on, while the leadership within the group has been sound."

Johnson will lean heavily on Jonny Wilkinson and Steve Thompson, who were playing alongside Tindall when England sealed their last Grand Slam in 2003.

"Their experience will be important and we'll give them a chance to express that to the players," Johnson said.

"When you are in big games the healthiest attitude to have is 'if we win by a point we get what we want'."

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