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Tindall has point to prove - Lancaster

Stuart Lancaster believes Mike Tindall will have a point to prove when he plays for the Barbarians against England at Twickenham on May 27.

The former England captain has not featured for his country since the Rugby World Cup, when his antics off the field created more headlines than his performances on it. Tindall has been named in the Barbarians squad for their games against England, Ireland and Wales along with former international team-mates Iain Balshaw and Paul Sackey.

Although Lancaster is unlikely to consider Tindall again, he believes it is fitting for the 33-year-old to appear again at Twickenham after winning 75 caps for England, and he said: "It is great that he is playing. I am sure Mike has got a lot to prove by playing at Twickenham and I think it is great that he has the opportunity to do that again."

Tindall was fined £15,000 for his conduct relating to an infamous night out in Queenstown, the day after captaining England to a tournament-opening victory over Argentina.

Lancaster dropped Tindall for the Six Nations and turned his attention to the future, with uncapped centres Jonathan Joseph and George Lowe among those preferred for the summer tour of South Africa.

Asked whether it was unlikely that he would pick Tindall, Lancaster said: "I think the way we are going in terms of our squad, and trying to pick a group of players towards 2015, yes."

Tindall could play his final game of rugby for the Barbarians given he is yet to find a new club after leaving Gloucester at the end of the season.

Lancaster on Tuesday named a 27-man squad for the Barbarians game but he is without his Leicester and Harlequins contingent, with 18 members of his touring squad in Aviva Premiership final action the previous day.

Gloucester fly-half Freddie Burns, London Irish flanker Jamie Gibson, Exeter scrum-half Haydn Thomas and Saracens' Richard Wigglesworth have all been drafted into the squad for the non-cap international from outside England's touring party.

Burns is effectively on stand-by to replace Toby Flood on the three-Test trip to South Africa if the Leicester fly-half fails to recover from an ankle injury in time. Flood missed Leicester's Premiership semi-final victory over Saracens on Saturday and Lancaster indicated he would have to be fit for the first Test on June 9 to be considered.


From Belfast Telegraph