England coach Stuart Lancaster could leave Toby Flood behind

England head coach Stuart Lancaster insists he won't hesitate to leave Toby Flood behind for their summer tour of South Africa

stuart lancaster
Stuart Lancaster led England to four victories from five in their Six Nations campaign The Sport Review

stuart lancaster

England coach Stuart Lancaster admits he’ll have no problem leaving Toby Flood at home if the Leicester fly-half fails to prove his fitness ahead of the tour of South Africa.

Flood missed the Premiership semi-final victory over Saracens with an ankle problem and remains a doubt for the Tigers trophy clash with Harlequins a week on Saturday.

The 26-year-old also saw his preparations for the Six Nations hampered by injury and fell down the pecking order as Owen Farrell and Charlie Hodgson started in the number 10 jersey.

A fully fit Flood would challenge the Saracens duo but with England’s first Test starting in Durban on 9 June, Lancaster insists he won’t be taking any risks.

“There’s no point taking someone if he’s not going to be available until halfway through the tour,” said Lancaster. “It will depend on what the physios think.”

Flood is not the only injury worry with winger Chris Ashton – known for his trademark swan dive celebration – missing Northampton’s semi-final against Quins with a back injury.

“I don’t know if he injured his back diving but there is a time and place for all these things,” added Lancaster.

“As long as he gets it right with us that’s all that matters to me. If I get the sense that people are doing things to promote themselves or that are selfish in nature I wouldn’t be happy. But you wouldn’t want to take the spontaneity and creativity out of Chris Ashton either.”

© Sportsbeat 2012

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