Jonny Wilkinson deserves England place - Toby Flood

2011 RWC warm-up match: Wales v England

Venue:
Millennium Stadium
Date:
Saturday, 13 August
Kick-off:
1430 BST
Coverage:
Live commentary on BBC Sport website, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru; Watch live on Sky Sports 1; Highlights on BBC Sport website, BBC Three (Saturday 1900-2000 BST) and on BBC One (Sunday 1130-1230 BST); Live text commentary on BBC Sport website

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Flood not taking starting spot for granted

Fly-half Toby Flood has said he is not taking his position in the England starting XV for granted after Jonny Wilkinson's strong display against Wales on Saturday.

Wilkinson scored 13 points in England's 23-19 World Cup warm-up win over Wales at Twickenham.

But Flood will get the chance to stake his own claim in Saturday's return match in Cardiff.

"Jonny has all rights to the shirt at the moment," he told BBC Sport.

"But the good thing is that it sets the bar high and it is my job to chase him and hopefully get back on a par on him and play as well as he did."

Flood has been first choice since replacing Wilkinson at the end of the 2010 Six Nations but the Leicester fly-half has never been as popular with the public as his rival, who was man of the match at the weekend.

But Flood said he does not feel under any more pressure than he did before the most recent game.

"What do you expect from Jonny? He is an exceptional athlete who looks after himself and you sit there and expect nothing less," he added.

"He has knowledge of how to play and win the game and I am hopefully getting better at that. We both try to challenge each other.

"There is always a chance for guys to fight for positions and it goes for everyone in the team and this is the way it should be and that is the good thing about our squad."

England coach Martin Johnson said Flood "may get a chance this weekend to show where he is right now".

"Toby hasn't played yet so give him a chance," he said. "We know Jonny will play well because that is what he does and has done for 14 years of Test rugby. It is great to have him in the squad."

Johnson added that he hoped captain Lewis Moody would recover from his knee injury for the World Cup.

He said: "We'll get more information on Lewis in the next 24 hours and take it from there."

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