- Toby Flood on the new blood coming through at Tigers
- It’s almost like the Sir Alex Ferguson mentality – Flood
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England and Leicester Tigers fly half Toby Flood says it’s great to have so many talented, young, English players at Welford Road, singling out fellow fly half and IRB Junior World Player of the Year award nominee George Ford for particular praise.
Flood is currently in training with the England Senior squad as they build up their fitness ahead of the Rugby World Cup later this year, but the 25-year-old insists that Richard Cockerill’s Tigers are in safe hands, despite the exodus of players heading to New Zealand.
“We’ve recruited Micky Young and Kieran Brookes from Newcastle and Graham Kitchener from Worcester,” Flood said. “These guys are all sub-25, which is brilliant for us because it’s what you need as a squad.
“It’s almost like the Sir Alex Ferguson mentality at Manchester United whereby he brings in young players who invigorate the group. It’s all about putting these young player in the environment in which you want them to be in, whether they’re 17, 18 or 20, it doesn’t matter.”
Photo: Getty Images
Flood’s 18-year-old positional rival Ford enjoyed a superb Junior World Championship in Italy last month, scoring 51 points across England’s five matches, helping his side to the final where they were eventually beaten 33-22 by New Zealand . And Flood is full of admiration for the youngster, adding:
“George is still only 18 but he’s an old head on young shoulders, he’s very secure in his mindset and how he acts. Fordy is also a good lad and everyone has a rapport with him, but it’s great to have these young players about the place and it will stand them all in good stead in the future.
“He is very highly regarded at Leicester, and with the Seniors World Cup coming up there may well be an opening for him. But we have a lot of talent in that area at the club with Jeremy Staunton and Billy Twelvetrees also recognised fly halves, so we’ll have to wait and see.”