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Mike Tindall: We don't call him Sarge for nothing but Moriarty is great to work with

By The Citizen  |  Posted: December 21, 2012

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THE memory makes Mike Tindall shudder.

Gloucester's player/backs coach casts his mind back to 1999 and a Heineken Cup game at Swansea.

The famously inhospitable St Helen's ground should be enough to start the spine tingling, maybe too Bath's 10-9 defeat.

But the 34-year-old centre is stupefied by a totally different aspect of that December day – he played against Gloucester's defence coach Paul Moriarty.

To the former Welsh back-row battering ram turned taskmaster trainer, that statistic is a mark of gritty longevity in a playing career that spanned dual-code international honours.

It should be the same to Tindall, but it only served to remind him that time waits for no man.

An Indian summer renaissance under new Gloucester boss Nigel Davies is keeping the old father at bay, though, and England's most capped centre hopes his new lease of life will continue to extend his playing career.

Kingsholm defence specialist Moriarty might be demanding – and Tindall might not enjoy reminiscing about squaring up in European action 13 years ago – but he also knows how and when to lighten the mood.

"Any coach will tell you that you can't win a game without defence," Tindall explained.

"It's a base level, your attack can always grow but you always need that solidity.

"So our main challenge is to enjoy that side of it.

"Paul's honest, up front and he still makes defence fun.

"He expects a certain level of commitment and he lets you know when he doesn't get that, but he also praises you when he does get what he wants.

"He makes defence fun for us, and some of his wordings and phrases are priceless as well.

"We don't call him Sarge for no reason, though, and it's great to work with someone who demands so much from us.

"He's got a slight OCD about everything and I'd feel sorry for a referee if he ever got to have a one-on-one with one.

"The sad thing is I played against him in the old days, back in Swansea, which is a bit disappointing from my point of view!

"You never liked playing against the Moriartys, Paul and his brother Richard, especially at St Helen's, it was a horrible ground for away teams.

"Paul hasn't changed in terms of his approach, and you can see a lot of his characteristics in his son Ross (Gloucester Academy flanker) too, he's got that same mental edge as his dad."

At the tail-end of Bryan Redpath's tenure, Tindall was surplus to requirements at Gloucester and heading for the Cherry and Whites exit.

Redpath's ignominious departure turned Kingsholm upside, though, and new rugby director Davies' first pivotal move was to hand Tindall his dual role.

Tindall has a one-year contract and now he has had a taste of coaching, he admitted he wants more, and at Gloucester too.

He continued: "This whole year's been a real eye-opener in terms of how I see the future going and where I see it going.

"It's been hugely enjoyable so far, and you just want it to continue – both in terms of playing and coaching.

"So hopefully that will be the case.

"The coaching is definitely a difficult challenge, but it's just trying to find little things to work on.

"We haven't had that many strike opportunities this season, so it's just finding little ways that we can be effective as a backline unit.

"But it's great having Nigel as a support, just to talk through how things are going, and Carl Hogg and the other coaches too.

"It gives you a totally different perspective from when you're playing, it opens your mind a bit more.

"And it can definitely help me improve as a player too.

"The amount of footage you watch, things really get ingrained in there, and then when you spend time talking to the other coaches too, your understanding becomes clearer all the time.

"You know more and more what the team as a whole is trying to do on the field, and you can be a second ear to the decision-makers in the team, and suggest little things.

"You can help in that way too."

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  • TuffleyRaider  |  December 31 2012, 1:04PM

    The reason the multi-troll hates Harden is because Harden continues to prove the troll wrong by his superb and dominating performances in the front row for Gloucester this season.

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  • RoryGlaws  |  December 31 2012, 12:56PM

    Glawsteruk1/peh45/akadau/Gordon_P/graybaggs/Absolam/Autotroll/GlosRugbyMan/RuckandRoller/Kap721/flanker_6 has certainly go a big downer on our best and first choice tight head, Rupert harden.

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  • Drusus  |  December 31 2012, 12:22PM

    Yep! He certainly doesn't like how well Harden has been doing in dominating in the scrum as Gloucester's best and first choice tight head.

    |   6
  • GlawsSurfer  |  December 31 2012, 12:04PM

    Glawsteruk1/peh45/akadau/Gordon_P/graybaggs/Absolam/Autotroll/GlosRugbyMan/RuckandRoller/Kap721/flanker_6 they are all the same Harden & Tindall hating, chippy, multi-identity troll.

    |   6
  • sam_silent  |  December 29 2012, 8:20AM

    He's not known as Mr. Chippy for nothing.

    |   6
  • richardpenton  |  December 27 2012, 10:14AM

    ...He has a chip on his shoulder because Gloucester Rugby are having quite a good season so far.

    |   5
  • CurtDowne  |  December 27 2012, 9:38AM

    He also has a big chip because our best and strongest tight head, Rupert Harden, continues to have a stellar season.

    |   6
  • Conrad_Selby  |  December 24 2012, 5:36PM

    ...And then Tindell signed for Gloucester Rugby and peh45 has had the biggest chip on his shoulder ever since.

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  • chuycastillos  |  December 24 2012, 5:05PM

    Just thinking back to when the multi-troll peh45/akadau/glawsteruk1/etc./etc. claimed that he personally knew that Tindall hadn't received any contract offers from other clubs and then it was proved that he had. Hilarious! Mucho egg on face!

    |   7
  • JBuddy  |  December 21 2012, 6:42AM

    Thank goodness we re-signed Tindall instead of letting him take up one of the many contract offers he had. And thank goodness we brought in Rupert Harden from the lower leagues and developed him into the fantastic tight head that he is; the best at Gloucester Rugby.

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