England in SA
Flood eager to shine in SA
London - England flyhalf Toby Flood has vowed to make up for his injury woes in the forthcoming Test series against South Africa after fearing he would miss the tour.
Flood has struggled with a combination of ankle and groin injuries over the last month which forced him to pull out of Leicester's English Premiership final against Harlequins last weekend.
The Tigers star was devastated to miss the Premiership final and initially worried that he would also be sidelined for the three Tests in South Africa.
But he has recovered quickly and is focused on convincing England coach Stuart Lancaster that he is the best man to run the attack against the Springboks.
"It was devastating to miss the final because I had worked so hard to get fit. I'd done 10 or 12 cryotherapy sessions," Flood said.
"It's great to be going on the tour but in terms of where I am (in the pecking order) I will just keep my head down, keep working and keep the dialogue open with Stu.
"I will have to try to impress in training and put my hand up. I'll have to try to scream and shout without acting like a spoiled brat, to try to get that shirt back.
"Every single player in this squad wants to be involved in that first Test match.
"It's an outstanding challenge for us and I'm desperate to put my hand up to be involved."
Flood is England's most experienced player with 47 Test caps but he has not featured since the World Cup quarter-final.
The 26-year-old had been the starting flyhalf in England's 2011 Six Nations title triumph, but injury cost him a place in this year's tournament, with Charlie Hodgson and then Owen Farrell filling the void.
When he overcame that knee injury, Flood piloted Leicester on a run of six consecutive bonus point victories as the Tigers charged into the Premiership semi-finals.
"Before the injury I was really enjoying my rugby and Leicester were going well, playing really good stuff," Flood said.
"To have that brought to an end so suddenly was quite difficult, it stung a bit.
"I would hope that we're coming here with a fresh slate and that it would be a factor that I played until the end of the (regular) season."