Leicester and England set to sweat on Flood
January 5, 2013
Does Leicester's Toby Flood deserve a citing and possible ban for this tackle?%]
Leicester's joy at hitting the Aviva Premiership summit with victory over Worcester on Friday night could yet be tempered by disciplinary action against fly-half Toby Flood.
The Tigers climbed to the top of the table with a last-gasp 19-14 victory over the Warriors but it may have come at a cost with Flood set to pick up a citing for a spear tackle on opposite number Andy Goode.
The tackle was not punished by the officials at the time but replays suggested he was lucky to escape a yellow card for the rash challenge. A citing could lead to a ban that would severely hamper Leicester's push for a Heineken Cup quarter-final place with crucial pool clashes against the Ospreys and Toulouse to come in the next fortnight.
A suspension may also impact on Flood's hopes of returning to the England fold for their Six Nations opener against Scotland on February 2. The 27-year-old sat out England's headline-grabbing victory over New Zealand last month and while he is expected to retain his place in Stuart Lancaster's latest Elite Player Squad that will be announced this week, a ban would likely see Saracens' Owen Farrell and Gloucester's Freddie Burns retained for the clash against the Scots.
There was some more positive news for Leicester with flanker Tom Croft's return from injury. It was Croft's first appearance since he suffered a neck injury last April and subsequently underwent surgery. Following an impressive 50-minute performance in front of Lancaster, he is expected to return to the England ranks.
"It is good to have those 50 minutes in the bank," Croft said following the game. "I was hoping to be back around November/December time, and when that didn't happen it was probably the most frustrating time. In all honesty, I have thought no further ahead than my first game back. I have now ticked that box and all I can do is play when I get the chance."
Leicester playmaker Toby Flood could have England coach Stuart Lancaster a selection headache © PA Photos
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"Like the Treaty of Versailles, despite all the promises, the new Participation Agreement is certainly not the final solution." John Taylor writes
"We know where we are going and we know where we want to get but how long that will take is anybody's guess." David Humphreys on his plans for Gloucester
Jim Mallinder and Justin Burnell were sat on the same top table, but in different circumstances. Tom Hamilton reports on the Aviva Premiership season launch
Tom Hamilton reports back from the launch of the Guinness PRO12 where there is a renewed sense of optimism with all of the off-field changes to the league