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