Booze, Blondes and Tossed Dwarfs Dog Rugby World Cup

By Will Godfrey 09/20/11

The multinational sporting event taking place in New Zealand has turned into tabloid heaven.

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England star wrestles dwarfs in bar. Photo via

The sport of rugby has always been associated with the heartiest kind of post-game "celebrations." And the 20-nation Rugby World Cup that's currently unfolding in New Zealand seems to be true to form. Zac Guildford, a player for the All Blacks—New Zealand's historically all-conquering national rugby team, who are favorites for the 2011 trophy—was forced to apologize in front of the world's media yesterday for "excessive drinking" at his team's hotel. The 22-year-old winger got tanked in the aftermath of a disappointing defeat to arch-rivals Australia last month—following his involvement in several other alcohol-related incidents. "It's pretty obvious what's moderate and what's excessive," said All Blacks manager Darren Shand. "He's let himself down, he's let his team-mates down. Zac's now got a self improvement program he has to work on." Guildford has escaped a playing ban—but one England international could be in far worse trouble. Outside center Mike Tindall, 32, is the newly-wed husband of Zara Phillips, 30—a former world champion equestrian who just happens to be a granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II, which makes her 13th in line to the throne. CCTV footage of a well-refreshed Tindall kissing and cuddling an unnamed blonde was released onto the internet after a boozed-up team night out in a New Zealand bar last week—and his wife is now flying down from the UK to meet him. The fact that his behavior took place during an alleged drunken dwarf-tossing competition—in which the England team was later forced to deny involvement—hardly helps. "The Queen is Gonna Kick Ur Ass," read one banner at England's game on Monday.

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Will Godfrey is the former editor-in-chief of TheFix. He was also the founding editor-in-chief of Substance.com, and previously co-founded a magazine for prisoners in London. His work has appeared in Salon, Pacific Standard, AlterNet and The Nation among others. He is currently the Executive Director at FILTER. You can find Will on Linkedin and Twitter.

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