Quantcast
Channel: Leicester Mercury Latest Stories Feed
Viewing all articles
Browse latest Browse all 9894

Matt O'Connor blasts Lions for failing to call up Leicester Tigers' Toby Flood

0
0

Matt O'Connor has criticised the British & Irish Lions for failing to call up Toby Flood as an emergency replacement.

The Lions have injury worries over fly-halves Jonathan Sexton and Owen Farrell, as well as centres Manu Tuilagi and Brian O'Driscoll.

That has led to Gloucester centre Billy Twelvetrees getting an SOS to leave the England tour of Argentina and fly to Australia to cover the No.10 and 12 shirts.

Outgoing Leicester Tigers coach O'Connor, who begins his new job at Leinster on July 1, believes his former charge Flood should be "gutted" by the snub – a decision which he says raises questions about the Lions management.

"There are few better fly-halves in Europe than Toby and he has played a lot of Test rugby at inside centre so he can play in both positions," said O'Connor. "I think Toby has to be gutted.

"If they are looking to get the best fly-halves in Europe, then Toby's form in the Heineken Cup quarter-final, Aviva Premiership semi-final and the first 20 minutes of the final, before he got injured, proved he is right up there.

"Toby has also played in countless high-pressure games for both club and country and his goal-kicking is as good as there is.

"He has shown, while playing for England, that he understands the Wallabies' mentality and has also proved that he knows how to beat them.

"But instead of taking him, they have taken a guy who has played just five Tests. Clearly someone in the Lions management thinks very highly of Billy.

"But if you look at the amount of high-quality games that Gloucester have played this season, and his limited Test experience, how can that equate to a Lions call-up ahead of Toby?

"Toby's experience at understanding the game at the very top level is second to none and I think they are drastically missing out by not having his intellect in the group.

"He has played a lot of rugby against the Wallabies and his win-loss ratio against them is very good – even in Australia. He has come up against some very good Wallaby sides and come out on top.

"Toby is level-headed and realistic about these things and knows that selection is subjective and things don't always go in your favour. But for me, this is a bizarre choice."

Matt O'Connor blasts Lions for failing to call up Leicester Tigers' Toby Flood


Viewing all articles
Browse latest Browse all 9894

Latest Images

Trending Articles





Latest Images