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VIDEO – Flood warning for slow starting England

05 October 2011

  • England fly half Toby Flood previews France quarter final clash
  • We need to start with a bang says Leicester man Flood

Toby Flood has urged England to hit the ground running and assert their dominance in the early stages of the RWC quarter-final against France at Eden Park on Saturday.

Flood, who made an influential impact from the replacements’ bench during the last ten minutes of this weekend’s 16-12 win over Scotland, was also eager for his side to make a marked improvement as they look to reach the last four.

Toby Flood in training with England

Photo: Getty Images

“First and foremost, we need to sort out our start,” explained the 26 year-old uncompromisingly. “We have looked sluggish and disinterested at the beginning of some games and have not been playing with verve.

“The opening stages (against France) will be massive. We need to start with a bang and then try and quash them later on.”

Going on to discuss England’s next hurdle, Flood quickly shrugged off the suggestion that Mark Lièvremont’s charges would be straightforward opponents after enduring a torrid passage through Pool A.

Instead, the Leicester Tigers man acknowledged the immense talent in France’s backline, even suggesting that Les Bleus posses some of the world’s most exciting performers among their ranks.

“They are an outstanding team full of players who can carve you open so we have got to be very wary,” he said. “Some of their guys would get into any side in the world.

“People from the outside may think that they are dead and buried we have seen countless times that a great display can be pulled out of the dark.”

“They are the last side to win a Grand Slam (in 2010) and have players who have won Heineken Cups, too,” Flood added. “It’s frightening really, if you want a word for it.”