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Tindall to see ankle specialist


Mike Tindall

Mike Tindall

Mike Tindall

England captain Mike Tindall has been referred to an ankle specialist to determine whether he will be available for Saturday's Grand Slam showdown with Ireland.

The Gloucester centre suffered ligament damage in the first half of England's 22-16 victory over Scotland at the weekend and is still walking around in a protective boot.

Tindall, who was cleared of a fracture on Sunday night, had an MRI scan on Monday and England's medics have decided to seek a specialist opinion on the results.

If Tindall is forced to miss the trip to Dublin, Nick Easter would be the leading candidate to take over the captaincy.

Matt Banahan should be available to fill in at outside centre after early indications suggested he would not be cited for a clash with Kelly Brown.

Banahan had only just come on as a replacement for Tindall when ran hard and straight at Brown, catching the Scotland number eight with his forearm as he tried to fend him off.

The citing officer has until 4.40pm to lodge a complaint but all the pointers are that no action will be taken.

Tindall has been England's stand-in captain for the RBS 6 Nations, with squad skipper Lewis Moody ruled out of the championship with knee ligament damage.

"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," said England manager Martin Johnson.

"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."