Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 26 November 2014

Flood calls for united England

Toby Flood
Toby Flood

Toby Flood has urged his England team-mates to start taking responsibility for their actions off the field and pull together on it to strengthen their bid for World Cup glory.

The Leicester fly-half was joined by Shontayne Hape in providing an insight into the disappointment some England players feel about the recent headline-grabbing controversies, with Hape admitting that "a couple of the guys have let the squad down".

Flood urged each player to take responsibility and said: "It's rumbled on but so what? We have to deal with it and understand that we've got to unite now...for the greater good. This is our goal. It's time for us to go: 'Look we are where we are now, this is important and this goes beyond anything else. As a squad we have to deal with it and unite'."

Flood demanded England put all the distractions behind them and present a united front for Saturday's World Cup quarter-final clash with France, who are having their own problems with the squad seemingly in disarray following their Pool A defeat to Tonga.

The French players are understood to have held a summit meeting in a bid bring a sense of unity to the squad ahead of their showdown with England.

"We know they are in a situation now when it looks like they are in disarray - but I have been in teams that looked in disarray and it's a very dangerous thing," said Flood.

"It can be very powerful tool."

Jonny Wilkinson took part in a light England training session on Tuesday to give manager Martin Johnson a fitness boost ahead of the quarter-final clash.

But concerns persist over centre Mike Tindall, who suffered a dead leg in Saturday's victory over Scotland and sat out training.

Wilkinson damaged his elbow against Scotland last weekend and Johnson admitted on Sunday he was worried the injury would keep his star fly-half out of England's last eight showdown.

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