Amelia Wade is a court reporter for the New Zealand Herald

Tindall's kiss caught on camera (+video)

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The English rugby team's defence of their captain after reports he flirted with a mystery blonde in Queenstown has been blown out of the water - with the release of CCTV footage of the pair kissing.

Mike Tindall, who married the Queen's granddaughter Zara Phillips seven weeks ago, was reported to have had his head buried in the blonde's chest while watching a dwarf-throwing contest with World Cup team-mates in a bar.

England rugby management did little to quash that allegation, issuing a statement which denied nothing but said the players were just enjoying themselves.

"Mike and several of the players were enjoying an evening out after he had led the team to a hard-earned victory over Argentina. Like all the lads, he plays for England with a massive amount of passion and he was relaxing after a tough match. There will be no further comment."

This afternoon, footage from a YouTube clip posted by 'pinksnz' compiled different CCTV footage, which clearly shows the distinctive-looking Tindall touching the woman and kissing her.

Shortly after media attention was drawn to the video, it was taken off YouTube.

TVNZ reported the man who uploaded the video, Jonathon Dixon, would not answer questions about why he put the video up.

He told ONE News he has been "hammered by reporters from around the world all day" and he took it down because he was asked to by a "security guard".

Photographs from the Altitude Bar's Facebook page show England players posing with local women and the dwarfs.

In one photo, Tindall is seen on top of team-mates Dylan Hartley and Chris Ashton, and in another the two dwarfs are tackling Ashton.

Britain's Sun tabloid said Tindall was targeted by a woman.

A source told the newspaper: "One particularly beautiful blonde went straight for Mike. But rather than reject her advances, unfortunately he was extremely responsive. They were flirting with each other and getting very touchy-feely.

"Then they went into the doorway, where the girl gestured Mike towards her chest. She pulled his head towards her breasts and she rubbed the back of his head as she did so."

Altitude general manager Blair Impey told the Herald he was in the bar on Sunday, and admitted the incident could have happened without him and his staff seeing it.

But he said Tindall would have been taking a "massive risk" in the packed, "wide-open" rectangular bar.

The dwarfs, from Little Man Entertainment in Sydney, were hired to act as hosts during the bar's four-night "Mad Midget Weekender".

On Sunday, when the England players were in the bar, it held "Leprechaun bar wars", which it advertised as team games for "sick prizes and funny-as midget races".

Naz Kheir, who owns the Little Man company and was part of the Queenstown entertainment, said the England players were just having a good time.

"Don't be silly," he wrote on Facebook. "There was no dwarf throwing. Altitude bar was good to us and we had a great time."

- NZ Herald

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