England call for reinforcements
November 25, 2012
Toby Flood could be replaced by Owen Farrell for England against the All Blacks © PA Photos
England have drafted Gloucester fly-half Freddie Burns into their training squad ahead of their showdown with New Zealand on Saturday with first-choice playmaker Toby Flood a major injury doubt.
Flood limped out of England's 16-15 defeat to South Africa on Saturday and although he has since been cleared of a broken toe, the playmaker is expected to be ruled out of the All Blacks clash.
Bath wing Tom Biggs has also been handed his first senior call-up after Ugo Monye suffered a calf injury while Gloucester prop Nick Wood also linked up with the squad as precautionary cover for Alex Corbisiero with Saxons props Matt Mullan and Nathan Catt are injured along with Joe Marler. The England medics are being cautious over Corbisiero, who played against South Africa but is only three matches into his comeback from a knee injury.
England coach Stuart Lancaster said: "Tom is next in line from the Saxons and we are looking forward to getting a look at him. Freddie has been in for two of the last three weeks (as injury cover for Jordan Turner-Hall) so we know what he can bring and Nick Wood will provide cover as we manage Alex's knee at the start of the week. Toby Flood's toe has been re-examined and there is no bone broken but we will need to see how it settles down over the next 24 hours."
Burns, 22, could go straight into England's 23-man squad to face New Zealand next Saturday. Owen Farrell replaced Flood in the second half at Twickenham yesterday and would be England's likely starting fly-half against the world champions.
Burns is the leading points scorer in the Aviva Premiership this season and kicked five penalties and two conversions in Gloucester's 29-3 Aviva Premiership victory over Sale yesterday.
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