Metuisela Talebula brilliant finish


Emotive Guinness ads with rugby legends


Saracens vs Western Province Highlights


Test Rugby Results - Nov 15th weekend


Prop Adam Jones' drop goal attempt


WIN the rugby tour of a lifetime with IG


Barbarians run riot vs Leicester Tigers


Steven Luatua Quarterback Lineout throw


Tribute to MND victim Tinus Linee

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

A chat with Toby Flood as England launch their new kit

A chat with Toby Flood as England launch their new kit

Ahead of England's new kit launch today, we caught up with with Toby Flood to get his thoughts leading up to the Autumn Tests, his feelings on his personal development, and his thoughts on social media. This is what he had to say.


RD: Exciting few weeks ahead ready for some bruising encounters against the likes of the All Blacks and the Springboks?

TF: Definitely, there is nothing like tests against the best in the world and the guys are really looking forward to it. Weve had a good couple of weeks training so hopefully we can get out and play with in good spirits and get on top of them.

RD: The fans want to see some of the flair that can be seen in the Premiership - Is there a feeling that the squad will play a more expansive style this autumn?

I hope so, I think weve got the personnel to do it, obviously weather depending, its the autumn so it always difficult but we like to think we can go out there and chuck the ball around and have a real good crack at them so its definitely the plan.

RD: Who would you like to have playing alongside you at 12?

I dont really mind. There has been a few knocks and bumps from the last Premiership games so well have to wait and see, but obviously its always pretty competitive there so its up to the coaches. Ill just keep my head down and see who it is!

RD: What are your thoughts on twitter and most importantly, do you tweet?

No, I dont tweet at all, and I am not of Facebook either. By all accounts it seems to be good fun but its not for me.

RD: Is your preparation mentally quite different for test rugby than club rugby?

Not really, I think Ive learnt a lot in the past few years, playing quite a few high profile games and stuff and most of the time its just the same - I want to sit back and enjoy it and have fun and I think thats really helped me as a player so the key is not to get to wound up and excited about these things and just to go out there and crack on!

RD: Whats it like having a guy like Jonny Wilkinson breathing down your neck?

Its awesome really. Hes a good bloke, a good guy to hang round with and obviously pretty competitive too so all in all hes a great competitor he tries hard and always wants to be the best he can be.

RD: Which element of your game have you improved the most in recent times?

All of it really, probably the mind set probably my psychological side of things in terms of control, like controlling the game and controlling the environment were in. I think thats been the biggest step forward due to the environment Ive been playing rugby in and also myself maturing as a player and a person so I think the psychological side of things have definitely taken a step forward.

RD: Thoughts on Gavin Henson being brought into the Saracens setup as a flyhalf?

I guess itll take him time to get back onto the field because of the programme but ultimately hes a guy who will be playing at a very top level again and who is a very good player.

RD: On that note, would you ever take part in Strictly if asked to?

(Laughs) No, I have just got no ability to move what so ever!

RD: Any words of encouragement for Phil Vickery after his gutting news?

He was one of Englands great rugby players and a great guy to have around so its incredibly sad. Hes had a very good run and hes been world class for some time, its shame that it has to come to an end but hell always be remembered very fondly.

RD: What do you think of the new England kits?

I saw both kits for the first time a couple of months ago now at a Nike photo shoot and that was really cool, I really like it. Most of the guys have tried it on and there have been lots of really good responses so all in all its a good piece of kit and hopefully England will be as successful wearing it.

You can find out more, as well as purchase the kits, at nikestore.com/rugby

Posted at 2:24 pm | 30 comments

Viewing 30 comments

Anonymous November 02, 2010 3:16 pm

first
always wanted to do that

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Anonymous November 02, 2010 3:26 pm

Nice kit....

Do they make it for men?

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Phil November 02, 2010 3:36 pm

^^ what a funny thing to say.

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NiWiTa November 02, 2010 4:24 pm

looks alright - I guess. Hope it makes us play better though. Although not as capable as the all blacks/Oz etc there is some talent in the england side....

I just hope Johnson picks youth and let's them have a go. Must admit I can't see us beating any of the SH teams with current style of play/confidence levels..

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Chris November 02, 2010 6:02 pm

The SH teams are too good on paper. The only way I can see us picking up some wins is if we pick youth as Niwita says. I'd also throw in a few blokes with a bit of niggle who'll have a go and ruffle some feathers.

We can't play them at their game, they're too good. Getting under their skin and dragging them down to our level is how to beat them.

If we can't win, atleast leave them knowing they were in a battle.

It's all good slamming our style of play but a few forwards with mongrel is what we're missing. One of our main problems in recent years if our forward dominance have vanished and we're being rolled.

Where's Danny Grewcock? :D

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Chris November 02, 2010 6:06 pm

An example of what I'm trying to get at; you could take the best backs from NZ and Aus and put them in the England team, it wouldn't make a difference. We'd still get smashed.

Nifty, skillfull backs can't work their magic without a forward pack going forward. The boring stuff needs to be done right and done first. And in recent years as I say I don't think we've had that. Seen too many of our forwards getting driven back time after time. There's no intensity there. No explosive forwards. Only overweight lathargic guys.

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Anonymous November 02, 2010 6:45 pm

all the gear, no idea.

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Anonymous November 02, 2010 9:23 pm

England can only win when their pack is completely dominant and they can just barge foward. Meaning they don't have to create. Correct me if you wish but there was a brief occasion in 2002 where England played expansive stuff but even when they were dominant they still just made it a kicking slug fest.

They need to learn to create even when their pack is losing the battle, like Wales. It is possible to win a game with 30% territory and possession but you need to have creativity and make the most of what you have. England seem to need complete forward dominance to try anything and even then they don't bother. A conservative mind-set i am afraid. Hpe to see some great rugby this autumn.

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Chris November 02, 2010 9:36 pm

They need to learn to create even when their pack is losing the battle, like Wales. It is possible to win a game with 30% territory and possession but you need to have creativity and make the most of what you have. England seem to need complete forward dominance to try anything and even then they don't bother.

-----

Not to offend, but entertain me here, when do Wales beat SA, NZ and Australia?

Welsh people seem to be under the impression that beating a sub-par England team is a reflection of ability. It's not. Beating us doesn't make you contenders, just like us you get trounced by the SH.

As I say, put the best backs in the world in the England team and they'd still lose. Put all the 'creative' Welsh backs in the England team, England would still lose.

What England need are forwards who can play at high intensity and hit collisions with raw explosiveness, in turn laying a platform for our backs.

Our backs are okay, they're not the worlds best, but they're good. The problem is with the forwards.

South Africa didn't win the 07 worldcup with flair. England didn't win the 03 World Cup with flair. Flair doesn't win games. Strong defense, a dominant forward pack and a will to play for your team mates and country wins you games.

If flair and creativity is all it took Fiji would be world beaters.

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Juggernauter November 02, 2010 10:02 pm

Another new outfit? Jeez...

Anyway, I just saw the England XV to face the All Blacks and it was a joke. Tom Palmer got a place in the second row. Now what's the projection with him? He's old and not very tough or skilled. Why Dave Attwood isn't given a chance alongside Courtney Lawes?

Then there's Nick Easter at 8. Again. A player that hasn't got the pace to play top level rugby and that's got zero creativity, gets the nod ahead of James Haskell, a quick, versatile, touch as nails loose forward with both enough youth and experience.

The backs present another reason for concern as well. What does Shontayne Hape have that gave him the edge over Olly Barkley? Hape doesn't have a kicking game and he makes the odd line break, but barkley has a complete game, flair and a fly half instinct and brain. It's a no brainer for me really.

These are just my thoughts, though.

Cheers

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Anonymous November 02, 2010 10:08 pm

look where england and south africa are at the moment. look where NZ and aus are the moment. Whoever said anything about Wales beating the big 3. I mentioned that england did beat the big 3 in 2002 when they played with FLAIR! Winning a WC is not a true reflection of ability either. South Africa didn't have to beat anyone special to win it.

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Anonymous November 02, 2010 10:14 pm

FAO Juggernauter - Palmer is only 31 so not tha old and Lawes is very much a novice. Having 2 novices against the ABs would just be stupid. Palmer is a decent player and if you look at Ashton's try against the Aussies it was his inside ball which set him up. Attwood is a good player and will get time

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Chris November 02, 2010 11:24 pm

Winning a WC is not a true reflection of ability either. South Africa didn't have to beat anyone special to win it.

-----------

You're right, the WC doesn't matter, it's only the main tournament everyone plays for.

And the tournament both Australia and NZ (the 2 best teams right now) are building for!

But you're right, because Wales can't beat Fiji in the WC it doesn't matter.

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Scotsdale November 02, 2010 11:25 pm

Winning a WC is not a true reflection of ability either. South Africa didn't have to beat anyone special to win it.
Oh no you didn't!!

I'm not going to allow that to bait me. Clearly you're a little clueless.

I will say this - NZ were not special in that WC. They were beaten by France.

Australia were beaten by England, as were France. South Africa beat England TWICE, and beat Argentina, who ended in third place.
They also beat some very tough pacific island challengers. The notion that they didn't play anyone special is poor. You play who is good enough to be there in front of you.

Damn, totally sucked in.

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secondfive November 03, 2010 4:14 am

A lot of doomsayers on here. As an ABs fan the main thing that worries me is how nobody gives the NH any sort of hope in the coming weeks. I feel more confident when the Poms talk up their chances. There might be a couple of surprises .. meaning I would be surprised if NZ lost a match but I wouldn't be shocked. Maybe some weird weather, bad luck, bad ref, injuries, a missed touchfinder .. it happens.

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fry November 03, 2010 5:52 am

What's there to talk up?

England may snatch something up...who's to say? But the problem is that they've been such a let down recently that it's hard to get too confident about it all.

I'm just looking forward to some good rugby; I don't really care who wins, to be honest.

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Shaun November 03, 2010 8:10 am

Oh yeah, just what England need - another new strip ffs. How many variations on a white strip with some red term can there be?

Oh, and while I fully respect the opinions of those above suggesting L'Hasque. Not a chance should he be even in the country when the team play. Guy is a numpty and penalty magnet. Not clever enough to play the ref.

As someone said on another blog about L'Hasque "It's no use looking like Tarzan if you play like Jane"

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Shaun November 03, 2010 8:11 am

^^ red trim

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Anonymous November 03, 2010 9:48 am

will see, if they play well than it might even sell :D

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Matt November 03, 2010 10:55 am

Where's the tradition with uniforms these days?

their away kit looks like the AB's. Seems a lot of sports companies are trying to "get amongst" the AB's kit for whatever reason.

Also, what are they gonna do if they play against teams like France who are also trying to use the ALL Dark Blue uniform?

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NiWiTa November 03, 2010 1:35 pm

Fairpoints made by people above on Haskell - he doesn't half give away too many penalties.

I think Johnson despite his awesome playing career has to go. I am also concerned by the selection of Hape and Tindal. One big centre bashing up the middle is enough. Ollie Barkley would have been more sensible (and I like Hape who was a superb rugby league centre for both the Kiwi's and Brandford).....

Oh well let's hope the forwards play out of their skins..

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TB November 03, 2010 3:14 pm

England should have blue socks with white trim. White socks are for gym class.

I don't know if MJ needs to go.It seems to me like he doesn't have any horses in the stable. The question is: where are the badass English forwards? Too many foreigners in top level English rugby to develop home talent?

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Anonymous November 03, 2010 7:59 pm

TB..

have to agree with what you are saying. I used to look forward to the autumn tests. but really not that worried about it all. the problems now have been the same for the past few years. could argue nothing has changed since we won the world cup. we have slowly got worse.

too many foreign players in the leagues?

but then would a coach really get the support they deserve if they went in and started from scratch

its not the players chosen that bothers me, its the way they perform when in an england shirt compared to club shirt.

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Anonymous November 04, 2010 1:20 pm

Oh England you are going to be smashed by the ABs. Nonu and SBW will destroy you. Change you coach and quick or else the same will happen at the world and not only by NZ.

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Anonymous November 04, 2010 3:29 pm

I hear a thunder storm and Hurricane approaching Twickenham! They call it Hosea Gear and Sonny Bill Williams lol Graham Henry is about to use the brits as a statement after last weeks defeat sorry guys it just happened to be you next hahahaha

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Anonymous November 04, 2010 3:46 pm

has it changed at all in recent times?

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Anonymous November 04, 2010 3:47 pm

"South Africa didn't win the 07 worldcup with flair. England didn't win the 03 World Cup with flair. Flair doesn't win games. Strong defense, a dominant forward pack and a will to play for your team mates and country wins you games."

Typical boring Englishman. Did you see any of the Tri-Nations?

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