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England management defend players

The England management have defended Mike Tindall and several of his team-mates following reports of a night out in Queenstown.

The players were given Sunday night off after Tindall captained England to a 13-9 victory over Argentina in their opening game of the Rugby World Cup. Some of the squad visited a number of bars, including one which was hosting a "Mad Midget Weekender".

It is understood that, based on current reports, the Rugby Football Union do not plan on taking disciplinary action, and an England team spokesperson said: "Mike and several of the players were enjoying an evening out after he had led the team to a hard-earned victory over Argentina. Like all the lads he plays for England with a massive amount of passion and he was relaxing after a tough match."

England manager Martin Johnson confirmed before the team left for New Zealand that he would not be imposing drinking bans on the squad.

"When I started playing rugby at senior level you were dealing with blokes," Johnson said on the day of the team's departure.

"They treated us like adults and there is no reason to change that now they are professionals and things are far more organised in the game.

"They are there to make sensible decisions - if I can't trust them, there is a simple choice for us to make."

Rich Deane, the manager of Altitude Bar which hosted the midget racing and other games, posted a message on their Facebook page defending the conduct of the England players.

He wrote: "Firstly: There was no dwarf throwing - that's just not cool! Secondly: There was no scandal by any of the English rugby players that we saw!

"They were great lads, not throwing the midgets, it was all light-hearted good-humoured fun!"

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