Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 27 August 2014

Flood aims to make up for hurt

Toby Flood was in the England side that won the RBS 6 Nations title in 2011 but saw their Grand Slam ambitions ravaged by Ireland

Toby Flood is determined to bury two years of hurt when England tackle Wales next weekend with the Grand Slam and RBS 6 Nations championship on the line.

An England victory at the Millennium Stadium would complete their first championship clean sweep since 2003, when Sir Clive Woodward's team conquered Europe before conquering the world. Two years ago, Flood was in the England side that won the Six Nations title but saw their Grand Slam ambitions ravaged by Ireland in the last game.

"There's a big opportunity to make up for what was a really poor performance and an annoying day for us in 2011. It still hurts now, almost," Flood said. "We need to make sure that we're right and at least give ourselves the best chance to go out and give a good go at it."

But England's stuttering 18-11 victory over Italy has left the door open for Wales to believe they can retain their title - a seven-point victory should be enough for Rob Howley's men.

Flood added: "It would've been fantastic to win well (against Italy and boost England's points difference), but ultimately the big test is round the corner.

"Wales will be pretty happy. Wales are in a situation now where them winning the championship isn't too far off.

"Two years ago there was nothing to lose for Ireland. That was their emotion - to ruin our party. This one it's slightly different. There's two teams who theoretically could win this thing.

"We'll be going there as underdogs, they've been playing very, very well of late. That's not a bad place for us to be, in terms of mentally. We need to be right on it."

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