The RFU have punished Mike Tindall with a £25,000 fine and omitted him from the England squad.
England's Mike Tindall reacts during their Rugby World Cup Pool B match against Scotland at Eden Park in Auckland October 1, 2011. Tindall suffered a dead leg during Saturday's Scotland match but there was far more interest during a news conference on Sunday in another rash of media stories about his night out in Queenstown on September 11. Picture taken October 1, 2011.

The Rugby Football Union have fined Mike Tindall £25,000 and thrown him out of England's elite player squad, following the well-publicised events in Queenstown during the World Cup in New Zealand.

In addition to Tindall's unprecedented punishment, James Haskell and Chris Ashton have each been handed a £5,000 suspended fine and warned about their future conduct, while Dylan Hartley was acquitted of any wrongdoing, following an alleged incident in a Dunedin hotel.

The RFU's much maligned operations director Rob Andrew and the legal and governance director, Kerena Vleck, deemed Tindall's behaviour "unacceptable" given his senior standing within Marin Johnson's squad.

Andrew said in a statement: "We have considered all the evidence carefully and interviewed the players at length. These actions have not been taken lightly but we believe that in all these cases the sanctions are commensurate with the level of seriousness of what occurred.

"Mike Tindall's actions reached a level of misconduct that was unacceptable in a senior England player and amounted to a very serious breach of the EPS Code of Conduct. Whilst we acknowledge his previous good character it needs to be made clear that what he did will not be tolerated.

"Regarding the events in Dunedin, it should be stressed that the allegations of very serious wrong-doing made against Chris Ashton, Dylan Hartley and James Haskell by Annabel Newton, a member of staff at the team hotel, were entirely false. We do not believe the players had any intention to sexually harass or intimidate Ms Newton.

"However, the incident is precisely the kind of dangerous, compromising situation the players were warned about prior to departure for New Zealand and that they were specifically told to avoid in the EPS Code of Conduct. While we found that Dylan Hartley played no part in the ill-considered exchange with Annabel Newton, Chris Ashton and James Haskell's behaviour on 9 September did breach the EPS Code of Conduct and they have each been given suspended fines of £5,000. If they commit any further breaches of the Code before 31 December 2012 the fines will become due.

"Finally, these episodes and the subsequent disciplinary action should stand as a strong reminder that the highest standards of personal conduct are expected from any England player on and off the field."

All of the aforementioned England players have the right to appeal their punishments but must register to do so within three working days.

Tindall, who has won more than 70 caps, was pictured embracing a woman in a bar in Queenstown during a team bonding session. The Gloucester centre later admitted misleading the England management about the evening's events.