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Rugby Union: Tindall: Don't write us off; SIX NATIONS: England can still win the title, insists centre.

Byline: By Andrew Baldock

MIKE Tindall believes England's RBS 6 Nations title hopes are still alive - despite a record tournament thumping against Ireland at Croke Park.

England, destroyed 43-13 in Dublin, must beat Grand Slam-chasing France at Twickenham on Sunday, then see off Wales at the Millennium Stadium six days later to have any realistic chance of silverware.

Even two victories might not be enough, given England's considerably inferior points difference compared to the French and Irish.

But Gloucester centre Tindall insists England have everything to play for, starting with their match against France - a match that will see the world champions go into battle without injured trio Phil Vickery, Jonny Wilkinson and Andy Farrell.

Tindall said: "I don't think the Ireland defeat will be out of the system until we have redeemed ourselves a little bit.

"I read somewhere that the Grad Slam had gone and the championship had gone, but in my eyes, the title hasn't. If we get a good win on the weekend, and then in Wales, it is going to come down to points difference."

England boss Brian Ashton has made 11 changes, including three positional switches, from the side "stuffed," as the coach put it, by Ireland.

Mike Catt, the 35-year-old London Irish veteran, returns as captain to partner Tindall in midfield, while wing Jason Robinson is back after injury.

In addition three forwards - Tim Payne, Tom Palmer and Tom Rees - make their first Six Nations starts, and number eight Martin Corry has been moved into the second row.

ENGLAND: J Lewsey (Wasps); D Strettle (Harlequins), M Tindall (Gloucester), M Catt (London Irish, capt), J Robinson (Sale Sharks); T Flood (Newcastle), H Ellis (Leicester); T Payne (Wasps), G Chuter (Leicester), J White (Leicester), M Corry (Leicester), T Palmer (Wasps), J Worsley (Wasps), T Rees (Wasps), N Easter (Harlequins). Replacements: L Mears (Bath), S Turner (Sale Sharks), L Deacon (Leicester), M Lund (Sale Sharks), S Perry (Bristol), S Geraghty (London Irish), M Tait (Newcastle).

FRANCE: C Poitrenaud (Toulouse); V Clerc (Toulouse), D Marty (Perpignan), Y Jauzion (Toulouse), C Dominici (Stade Francais); D Skrela (Stade Francais), D Yachvili (Biarritz); O Milloud (Bourgoin), R Ibanez (Wasps, capt), P De Villiers (Stade Francais), L Nallet (Castres), J Thion (Biarritz), S Betsen (Biarritz), J Bonnaire (Bourgoin), S Chabal (Sale Sharks). Replacements: N Mas (Perpignan), S Bruno (Sale Sharks), P Pape (Castres), I Harinordoquy (Biarritz), P Mignoni (Clermont-Auvergne), L Beauxis (Stade Francais), C Heymans (Toulouse).

Referee: J Kaplan (South Africa).


CONFIDENT... Mike Tindall.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Mar 9, 2007
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