Is this the beginning of the end for Toby Flood?

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Post by Ozzy3213 on Mon 27 May 2013, 5:36 pm

Ok, so it was only a disjointed and lacklustre Barbarian side, but Freddie Burns looked every bit an international ten this weekend, and will head to Argentina full of confidence. If he pulls out two sparkling performances on tour, then Stuart Lancaster will have an almighty selection headache in the 10 jersey. Farrell is clearly Lancaster's first choice currently, regardless of what your opinion of him is, but who should and will he be competing for the jersey with heading towards RWC2015?

Flood is steady, and has had a few stellar performances for England, but I don't see him ever going on and being a world class 10. He will do a job, but England have to be looking for more than that. So if Freddie goes well, and Farrell comes back from Australia still in credit, then should Lancaster be looking to dispense with the services of Flood?

I know that there will be injuries, and at some point we may need him, but for me, his time is now gone, and Lancaster should be looking to move on with two contrasting players in Farrell and Burns, who could well spur each other on to much greater things through competing with each other for the jersey.

Just wondered what others thoughts are on Flood, and if anyone really wants to see him in the England 10 jersey in the future?
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Post by Rugby Fan on Mon 27 May 2013, 5:42 pm

I think his time should have been the 2011 World Cup. He was in better form than Wilkinson during that tournament but Johnson lost faith in him because of the manner of that defeat to Ireland in the last match of the Six Nations.

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Post by Ozzy3213 on Mon 27 May 2013, 5:47 pm

I don't think we'd have gone any further with him at the helm if I am honest. He is a top AP player, and a decent international, but not a top international.
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Post by MotelMoneyMurderMadness on Mon 27 May 2013, 6:50 pm

Never been a fan of Flood to be honest. No rational reasons, probably because he was Wilkos successor. I would like to see Burns and Farrell fighting for the shirt. My preference would be Burns,but I expect England to favour Farrell,in the way they favoured Andrew over Barnes and Wilko and Flood over Hodgson.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Mon 27 May 2013, 7:00 pm

Lancaster's preference for youth, alongside the policy of overlooking players in France, could see a few men in the 27-30 range without much of an England career any more. Perhaps including names in the current Saxons or touring squad.

It could see some decide to look for a lucrative contract in France or Japan before the next World Cup.



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Post by Knowsit17 on Mon 27 May 2013, 7:45 pm

He couldn't keep Wilko out indefinitely while the latter was still playing for England and now has his work cut out to be there or there abouts ahead of a new host of budding prospects. I see Flood's undoing as being very similar to Hook's in that he could never make the 10 shirt his own despite being tipped to have the potential to do so. Both have enjoyed fleeting moments of looking like they might be The One (or The Ten in this case) only to turn up the weekend after and have a shocker whenever they looked poised to pull away.

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Post by Cumbrian on Mon 27 May 2013, 8:46 pm

I think a lot of it will depend upon how the younger Flyhalves develop over the next couple of years, especially if Burns does actually perform and over take him. If he drops below second choice, Bomber might decide to focus on the new generation like George Ford or Henry Slade.
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Post by InjuredYetAgain on Mon 27 May 2013, 8:50 pm

MotelMoneyMurderMadness wrote:Never been a fan of Flood to be honest. No rational reasons, probably because he was Wilkos successor. I would like to see Burns and Farrell fighting for the shirt. My preference would be Burns,but I expect England to favour Farrell,in the way they favoured Andrew over Barnes and Wilko and Flood over Hodgson.
I honestly can't understand England fans who want to see Farrell playing. If I was English, I would pray that Farrell was kept as far away as possible (row PP in the main stand for example) from your creative backs. He stifles talent and is far too one dimensional. And no, before anyone asks, it is not jealousy. I would not want him anywhere near the Scotland team.
Burns and Flood are miles better players - Farrell's only saving grace is that he has more 3 pointers than Chris Huhne

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Post by RubyGuby on Mon 27 May 2013, 9:05 pm

thumbsup I think Flood is arguably the more accomplished out of them all. Of course the other 2 have time to develop but the thought of discarding Flood at the moment is a ridiculous suggestion IMO. Both Farrell and Burns have a lot to learn and it remains to be seen if they will achieve the heights anticpated. Do not disguard the unfashionable Flood who has great game awareness and is an excellent distributor of a ball among other things. thumbsup


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Post by MotelMoneyMurderMadness on Mon 27 May 2013, 9:16 pm

I think thats a bit harsh on Farrell but Im not going to argue, as I said I would pick Burns before Farrell. As for creative backs, we need to replace Barritt with 36 whoever starts at 10

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Post by InjuredYetAgain on Mon 27 May 2013, 9:23 pm

4M - you will see more AP than I will. What do you think Farrell has done well this season and which in any way justifies him getting picked for England let alone the Lions (I hope that doesn't come across as an aggressive question - it's not mean that way!)

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Post by Jhamer25 on Mon 27 May 2013, 9:31 pm

Hahahah some people are a joke really.
yes Freddie is a great player and has years ahead of him, but stupid little comments like it this the end of toby is pathetic.
I mean leave the Kid alone, he had one good game against a weak opposition. I mean how well would he do agiasnt bigger teams and big fast number 12's taregtting him all game e.g. Bastareau, Jamie, Ma nonu. Because he is only small as well mind
You lot have done it with Danny Cipriani and Farrell of late and look now. Before the England wales game in Cardiff (one of the best days of my life by the way) Owen farrel was being picked as first choice for the lions, but every big game he has played in since he has been surly shocking. e.g Cardiff and the Heineken and aviva semi finals.
And well Cipriani I s the best example I think, been talked up so much by the media that when he had a bad run of games they let him out to dry.
In Wales we have a great prospect coming through in Rhys Patchell who some idiots over here were calling for him to go into the Welsh team for the six Nations but no Gatland has kept him out of the lime light to let him develop. He will now gain a bit of experience know with the tour to japan.
The media are pundits are so common know for building up these young player then slaming them when they have a bad game or two. I mean Owen Farrell going on tour now is just a joke but who else in Britian is their.
Let Freddie get on, Toby is a great player as well.

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Post by MotelMoneyMurderMadness on Mon 27 May 2013, 9:45 pm

I was as surprised as most when Farrell was named in the Lions squad and the AP games Ive seen he seems solid if not startling. I was disappointed by the quality of some of his passing and he doesnt seem to make the breaks Ive seen from Burns. Burns is the way forward imo and I hope he does well in Argentina and cements his place in the side. Burns 10,36 and Manu in the centres would be my choice, with Wade on one wing,not sure about the other yet,with Brown at FB.
The Farrell Barrett axis while outstanding in defence offer little going forward.

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Post by HammerofThunor on Mon 27 May 2013, 9:49 pm

Anyone remember the great 10s that came through at a similar time to Flood? Geraghty. Cipriani. Lamb. Everyone was talking about how we had great depth and potential and it never kicked on from great first few games. For various reasons.

Flood is a decent player who at the moment, IMO, is trying to hard. If he's playing reasonably it makes sense to have him in the squad. There will always be young players coming along. Just dropping anyone with experience whenever they do will ruin us.

And relying on any one player to be the future is risky. All it takes is a bad injury, a knock in confidence, or simply for them not to push on as wanted. Look at Hodgson. Had the misfortune of not being Wilkinson and being coached by Robinson in his prime. But came back in later in his career and won us a championship with his (charge down) try scoring.

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Post by InjuredYetAgain on Mon 27 May 2013, 9:56 pm

A few good names there, Hammer. What has happened to Geraghty? I should know but I don't watch as much AP as I used to for legal reasons - my wife threatened to drag me through the divorce courts if I didn't stop watching so much rugby

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Post by RubyGuby on Mon 27 May 2013, 10:01 pm

Those are good names and I was thinking exactly the same - He's not a 10 but I already get a feeling that too many are putting their hopes on Kvesic before he has had a chance to mature and develop as a player. He needs to play in a relaxed and composed fashion to achieve his potential and hot housing him will not do any good. During "dips" in form England need to stick with players who they know can produce the goods. Its baffling how they have stuck with someone like Strettle for so long thumbsup

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Post by HammerofThunor on Mon 27 May 2013, 10:10 pm

Geraghty went to Saints, did well at first but fell out of form. Then he moved on to France (Brive I think). No idea how he got on there but he's back at Irish now. No idea how he's getting. I think he was injured at some point but Ozzy would be he best person to comment.

I get sick of people banging on about the prospects of kids as soon as the hit premiership. Can't we just leave them o play, enjoying their game at level and see what happens regarding internationals? It's one of the things that annoy regarding the international game. It get's way too much focus. (I know that's what most people want)

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Post by lostinwales on Mon 27 May 2013, 10:17 pm

I wonder if he has lost any pace this season . I always think of him finding lovely lines for half breaks before giving the ball to someone who can do some real damage - e.g. Ashton at his best. This season when I have seen him in the internationals its like hes still going for the gap but never actually making it.

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Post by lostinwales on Mon 27 May 2013, 10:20 pm

HammerofThunor wrote:.....
I get sick of people banging on about the prospects of kids as soon as the hit premiership. Can't we just leave them o play, enjoying their game at level and see what happens regarding internationals? It's one of the things that annoy regarding the international game. It get's way too much focus. (I know that's what most people want)

Absolutely. Its actually very rare for players to hit the heights and stay there from a very early age - but because of the high profile cases where it does happen (for example the Wilkinsons and the Tuilagis from England's point of view) people start thinking its the norm

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Mon 27 May 2013, 10:26 pm

Burns was under no pressure against the Baabaas I'll wait to see how he does against the far more confrontational Puma's. He's got some good natural talent but his tendancy to go missing when under pressure is a concern as is his tackling.

Farrell is an equal concern as his passing is poor for an AP 10 let alone an international and his lack of confidence in his pass means he plays so deep It's easy to pick off our centres.

Flood has a dodgey tactical kicking game but is reliably good in defence and attack. Paired with Ben Youngs and a pack that offers at least parity he is the most rounded option England have at 10. Behind a beaten pack he is prone to errors.

Wild card going forward is George Ford. Excellent distributor, great kicking game from hand, diminutive figure and issues with kicking off the tee. Could be an option for next seasons 6N if he can up his kicking percentages past 70%.

On that basis Flood is far from done yet.

This season when I have seen him in the internationals its like hes still going for the gap but never actually making it.

Scythed through a gap against Wales and was only hauled down a metre short. More than Farrell managed all tournament. He does seem to run less but I think that's because the defence are stepping in and marking that. Allen seems to be making more breaks at AP level and the reverse pass to the blindside winger is working so it may be a case of him just holding the defence.

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Post by RubyGuby on Mon 27 May 2013, 10:28 pm

I think Stephen Jones has given the fridge to Toby Flood thumbsup

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Post by Rugby Fan on Mon 27 May 2013, 10:43 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:...Could be an option for next seasons 6N if he can up his kicking percentages past 70%...

That is one thing about England. We don't have a wide range of goalkicking options outside our fly half candidates. Ben Youngs didn't do anything at the weekend to suggest he'll be a Matt Dawson-like back-up plan. In the distant past, our full backs have often been quite handy (Hare, Hodgkinson, Webb). The only 15 to play for England recently with any form at going for the posts was Delon Armitage.

Flood, Ford, Farrell, Burns are our current kickers. Anyone know who else can give it a go? I think Ireland are in a similar position, although I did hear that Kearney can have a welly if asked.

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Post by 100%beefy on Mon 27 May 2013, 11:27 pm

Flood is fast becoming the next Hodgson...back up when nothing else available.

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Post by doctor_grey on Mon 27 May 2013, 11:51 pm

RubyGuby wrote: thumbsup I think Flood is arguably the more accomplished out of them all. Of course the other 2 have time to develop but the thought of discarding Flood at the moment is a ridiculous suggestion IMO. Both Farrell and Burns have a lot to learn and it remains to be seen if they will achieve the heights anticpated. Do not disguard the unfashionable Flood who has great game awareness and is an excellent distributor of a ball among other things. thumbsup
I agree, mate. I am not a huge fan of Flood, but he does have a cv which shows a win in Australia, not easy feat. And another one soon after back home. To me, he can lead England and win,

I have no idea what Farrell and Burns will develop into. I root for both because them seem to have potential to be something terrific. Whether they really make it or not is for the future to decide. But right now, I would like to Flood remain in the mix.

That said, Farrell has composure ahead of his years. It takes guts to pick a kid to play fly half for England when only 19. And the kids performed, in general, as well as a 19 year old could play.

So my bottom line is: play them all, but if there is one match to win, and assuming Flood is healthy, he would be my starter.
For now.

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Post by Seagultaf on Tue 28 May 2013, 7:48 pm

As a neutral I would say Flood is England's best 10 and should have gone on the Lions tour instead of Farrell. England looked a much better side when he came on at Cardiff.

From what I have seen of Burns he looks a real prospect, with him and Flood sharing the 10 jersey and Twelvetrees at 12 England could start scoring a lot more tries.

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Post by GunsGerms on Wed 29 May 2013, 11:23 am

Freddy Burns has a 100% test record. Two wins from two and both hammerings v NZ and the Barbarians. Good going so far Freddy!!

Personally Id like to see Rob Cook as England's 10 but thats for selfish reasons and nothing to do with whats best for England.

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Post by fa0019 on Wed 29 May 2013, 11:26 am

He went to 2 RWC's... not many get to go to 3. Decent player, nothing special and his lack of pace probably stopped him from cementing the England 10 jersey. Certainly could run a backline though.

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Post by sickofwendy on Wed 29 May 2013, 11:29 am

Unlike some lesser nations England don't cap players for matches against the baa baas.
It just cheapens the jersey

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Post by GunsGerms on Wed 29 May 2013, 11:34 am

sickofwendy wrote:Unlike some lesser nations England don't cap players for matches against the baa baas.
It just cheapens the jersey

Define lesser nation?

Surely selecting people like Hape, Flutey, Henry Paul, Hartley etc. cheapens the jersey even more. Would you not agree?

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Wed 29 May 2013, 11:45 am

Yeah i do think Flood will move down the pecking order now...as mentioned above, he will cover Hodgsons role of backup emergency stand in.
Burns and Farrell give us differing options.

Personally im a big fan of Burns...have we ever had a playmaker at ten like he is. I certainly cant remember one. But lets see how he goes against Argentina...and then maybe some AI's games, before we get too excited.

However, i can see what Farrell could bring to the team, he's 19/20, powerful big lad and also had the misfortune of having no dynamic carriers around him like Morgan, Attwood, Wilson, or the creativity of Twelevetrees beside him.
I believe Barritt is a bigger issue than Farrell and should be removed...however Farrell simply MUST improve his handling and creativity.

but I already get a feeling that too many are putting their hopes on Kvesic before he has had a chance to mature and develop as a player.
Ruby i think your correct, and i realised that myself on Sunday...Robshaw is still the man in the shirt and still way ahead of all the young pretenders

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Post by lostinwales on Wed 29 May 2013, 11:50 am

Funny just thinking about players like Wade. If Lancaster had picked him this year and the opposition had run all over him Lancaster would get the blame for putting in such a young and inexperienced player. If Lancaster picks him for the next 6N and he runs riot - Lancaster will get blamed for not picking him sooner...

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Wed 29 May 2013, 11:54 am

GunsGerms wrote:
sickofwendy wrote:Unlike some lesser nations England don't cap players for matches against the baa baas.
It just cheapens the jersey

Define lesser nation?

Surely selecting people like Hape, Flutey, Henry Paul, Hartley etc. cheapens the jersey even more. Would you not agree?

I hate the foreigner rule, so i wont begin to start on that point...however i wouldnt say these cheapened the shirt...at the time we were desperate for a 12, and both hape and Flutey met the rules and were playing very well for their clubs.

I think the problem was the number of foreigners we had in the team - hape, Flutey, Vainikolo etc... If it had only been Flutey, or Hape etc...not much would have been said about it, as little has been said about Strauss for instance.

And Hartley has English family and been here since he was around 16.. so he does qualify anyway...

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Post by propdavid_london on Wed 29 May 2013, 11:55 am

I think that there is still a lack of adequate back-up 10's -

specialists in the prem that haven't been ruled out -

Farrell
Flood
Burns
Myler
Ford
Steenson - think I read somewhere that he's EQ (not sure if hes committed to anyone though)
Lamb

Fringe players that cover 10 -
Twelvetrees
Alex Goode
Eastmond - apparently is being looked at as a 10 (among other positions)
Geraghty - not sure what he's up to.

Ruled out - Hodgeson and Andy Goode

What I'm trying to demonstrate is that beyond the top 3 in that list there is a bit of a gap at the moment. The order may shuffle but at the moment that's how I see it.

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Post by GunsGerms on Wed 29 May 2013, 11:57 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:
I hate the foreigner rule, so i wont begin to start on that point...however i wouldnt say these cheapened the shirt...at the time we were desperate for a 12, and both hape and Flutey met the rules and were playing very well for their clubs.

I think the problem was the number of foreigners we had in the team - hape, Flutey, Vainikolo etc... If it had only been Flutey, or Hape etc...not much would have been said about it, as little has been said about Strauss for instance.

And Hartley has English family and been here since he was around 16.. so he does qualify anyway...



Fair enough and agreed one or two isnt terrible. I knew Hartley's mum was English alright but I suppose his unsavoury record may not do justice to the traditions of rugby.

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Post by screamingaddabs on Wed 29 May 2013, 11:58 am

Rugby Fan wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:...Could be an option for next seasons 6N if he can up his kicking percentages past 70%...

That is one thing about England. We don't have a wide range of goalkicking options outside our fly half candidates. Ben Youngs didn't do anything at the weekend to suggest he'll be a Matt Dawson-like back-up plan. In the distant past, our full backs have often been quite handy (Hare, Hodgkinson, Webb). The only 15 to play for England recently with any form at going for the posts was Delon Armitage.

Flood, Ford, Farrell, Burns are our current kickers. Anyone know who else can give it a go? I think Ireland are in a similar position, although I did hear that Kearney can have a welly if asked.

36 is fairly decent with the boot.

Edit: And Goode if he is still selected.



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Post by GeordieFalcon on Wed 29 May 2013, 11:58 am

Prop David

Exeter have said Slade will get much more gametime next season, so theres another potential (not ready for England mind)...and if we come back up tonight...you can add Clegg and Joel Hodgson to the list of English 10's...though again...not nearly ready for England...

And you missed Cipriani

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Wed 29 May 2013, 12:03 pm

GunsGerms wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:
I hate the foreigner rule, so i wont begin to start on that point...however i wouldnt say these cheapened the shirt...at the time we were desperate for a 12, and both hape and Flutey met the rules and were playing very well for their clubs.

I think the problem was the number of foreigners we had in the team - hape, Flutey, Vainikolo etc... If it had only been Flutey, or Hape etc...not much would have been said about it, as little has been said about Strauss for instance.

And Hartley has English family and been here since he was around 16.. so he does qualify anyway...



Fair enough and agreed one or two isnt terrible. I knew Hartley's mum was English alright but I suppose his unsavoury record may not do justice to the traditions of rugby.

I think Hartleys days in an England shirt are numbered anyway, with the emergence of Youngs, Buchanan, Lindsay, Webber etc...

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Post by jimmyinthewell68 on Wed 29 May 2013, 12:03 pm

farrell won't see a starting test game unless sexton injured then they call Wilkinson and who would gats rather start then . . as for flood obviously is dad not a lions coach .

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Wed 29 May 2013, 12:16 pm

You know i would be happy for the lad (Farrell) if he went out played for the lions and really showed what he is capable of....

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Post by TrailApe on Wed 29 May 2013, 12:22 pm

And you missed Cipriani.


the bus didn't.....



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Post by sickofwendy on Wed 29 May 2013, 12:25 pm

A lesser nation is one that awards caps against invitational sides.

I agree about hape etc

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Post by BlueNote on Wed 29 May 2013, 12:26 pm

It depends a bit on whether Lancaster learns from the Cardiff match that he needs to be less conservative. I think Flood will be in the mix for a while yet. He's not one to set the world alight, but he is a good player.

About Rhys Patchell, and the same to a degree for Owen Williams (who will be hoping that Flood does stay in the England picture!) some players seem to have the maturity to cope from a very early stage. Patchell justifiably became first choice at the Blues very quickly. I wouldn't stick either of those two in the Wales team literally now, but I don't think it's a loony idea to think about doing so in the not too distant future.

I just hope Owen Williams doesn't disappear at Leicester.

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Post by RubyGuby on Wed 29 May 2013, 12:30 pm

Owen Williams looks a very average player IMO - A poor man's Madigan for me. He's young and he may well prove me wrong; there's a first time for eveything thumbsup

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Post by BlueNote on Wed 29 May 2013, 12:46 pm

Can't agree with you there, Ruby. I think Leicester's move for him was a shrewd one.

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Post by jeffwinger on Wed 29 May 2013, 1:16 pm

Flood has always been very much a fringe player for me. At no stage did I ever feel confident in his ability to run the game from 10, particularly in pressure situations. I feel he has been very fortunate to avoid being discarded on a number of occasions, and he must be one of England's weakest 50 cap players.

However, now he has all this experience, he might as well remain with the squad until a better option comes along. Burns and Farrell should certainly be the top 2 and therefore Flood should not be involved in any match day squads while they are fit. I'd be tempted to say chuck another youngster into the eps and let him get his feet under the table, but who would you pick? Ford was the next big thing until some poor showings for Leicester this season, while Henry Slade and Joel Hodgson received rave reviews in the a-league and championship respectively. Hopefully these guys will get plenty of premiership minutes in the coming season and then we will be in a far better position to assess the options for Floods long term squad replacement.

For all those worrying about the lack of options below Farrell and Burns, it is important to remember that Burns only really forced himself into the equation this season and Farrell the previous one, after impressive cameos in the respective preceding seasons (motm in prem final is more than a cameo I know, but the general point remains). There is nothing to say that by this time next year another option won't have been found.

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Post by propdavid_london on Wed 29 May 2013, 1:29 pm

How could I have missed Cips!
Slade looked good in the U20's games that I saw. Not sure about this Joel Hodgson.

Flood for me I've seen as similar to Trin-Duc for France. Tall, gangly but will take the ball to the line and a good goal kicker. As others have said he's solid but not spectacular.
But he's still a better option than Lamb, Myler, Geraghty, Cipriani, and Ford at the moment.

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Post by RubyGuby on Wed 29 May 2013, 1:49 pm

BlueNote wrote:Can't agree with you there, Ruby. I think Leicester's move for him was a shrewd one.

I really hope I'm wrong here - I just haven't see anything from this fella to convince me otherwise. Leicester are usually pretty shrewd so let's wait and see thumbsup

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Post by dummy_half on Wed 29 May 2013, 2:33 pm

Agree with most on Flood - he's going to be there or thereabouts for the EPS for a couple more seasons yet, but may well slip to third in the pecking order.

Has plenty of international experience and will do a competent job if called upon, but is missing that little bit extra that sets apart the outstanding players from the good enough ones.

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