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3 England players reprimanded over lewd behavior

Updated: October 02, 2011, 03:49

AUCKLAND, New Zealand(AP) England players James Haskell, Dylan Hartley and Chris Ashton have been reprimanded by manager Martin Johnson and forced to apologize to a female hotel worker for reportedly making lecherous comments toward her.

The incident occurred at a Dunedin hotel on Sept. 9 when Annabel Newton went to one of the player's rooms to retrieve some hotel equipment. It was reported in a British tabloid newspaper on Sunday, hours after England advanced to the World Cup quarterfinals with a comeback 16-12 win over Scotland.

Johnson says what the players "thought was humor and a light-hearted exchange has clearly not been taken that way.'' He told a Sunday news conference, "I was angry with them.''

The hotel episode happened a week before center Mike Tindall was captured on security footage holding a woman's hand and receiving a kiss on top of his head at a Queenstown bar. Tindall married Zara Phillips, Queen Elizabeth II's granddaughter, the previous month.

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