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Bring on Toulouse's 'boo boys', says Leicester Tigers' Toby Flood


Fly-half Toby Flood hopes Toulouse's 'boo boys' are in full voice when Leicester Tigers enter the white-hot atmosphere of the Municipal Stadium.

The 27-year-old is used to taking goal kicks in complete silence at Welford Road.

But 35,000 people will be making a cacophony of noise on Sunday each time he steps up to place the ball on his kicking tee when Tigers begin their Heineken Cup campaign away at the four-times winners.

Instead of ruining his concentration, however, Flood says the jeers actually have the opposite effect.

"They boo and whistle every time you get a goal kick – but that is actually quite nice when you have experienced both ends of the spectrum," he said. "Sometimes, silence is a bit false and weird. As you prepare to kick, you can pick up that odd voice in the crowd and that can grab your attention.

"There's an argument for saying it is actually better to have wolf whistles!

"I remember Matt Burke (former Newcastle full-back) saying that to me and I never really believed him until I experienced it for myself.

"Now, when the pressure is on, the whistles really don't bother me. The cacophony of noise is something I have got used to."

Flood has plenty of experience having earned 50 England caps and been the lynchpin of most of Tigers' forays into Europe since joining the club in 2008. Last season's trip across The Channel ended in misery as Tigers returned from a rampant Clermont with nothing to show for their efforts.

They exited the competition at the pool stages and Flood believes his side have learned some valuable lessons from that day in the Massif Centrale.

"We were undone in last year's competition by not picking up bonus points," he said.

"The two or three extra points you can get like that make a massive difference at the end of the group stages.

"It will be phenomenal to go to Toulouse and win but we also to be aware of how important the bonus points are."

Tigers' home fixture with Bath on Saturday, December 1, will kick-off at 12.30pm. It is live on ESPN.

The home game against Gloucester on Saturday, December, 29, has also been moved to a 5pm kick-off for Sky.

Follow Leicester Mercury rugby correspondent Martin Crowson @martin_crowson on Twitter and tweet him with your thoughts on Tigers before, during and after Sunday's match.
Heineken Cup team news: Toulouse v Tigers Heineken Cup, Sunday 4pm local time, 3pm UK time TOULOUSE 15 Clément Poitrenaud 14 Vincent Clerc 13 Florian Fritz 12 Gaël Fickou 11 Yoann Huget 10 Luke McAlister 9 Jean-Marc Doussain 1 Gurthro Steenkamp 2 Gary Botha 3 Census Johnston 4 Romain Millo-Chluski 5 Yoann Maestri 6 Yannick Nyanga 7 Thierry Dusautoir 8 Louis Picamoles Replacements: Tolofua, Poux, Guillamon, Albacete, Bouilhou, Jauzion, Burgess, Matanavou LEICESTER TIGERS 15 Scott Hamilton 14 Niall Morris 13 Manu Tuilagi 12 Anthony Allen 11 Vereniki Goneva 10 Toby Flood 9 Ben Youngs 1 Logovi'i Mulipola 2 Tom Youngs 3 Dan Cole 4 Graham Kitchener 5 Geoff Parling 6 Steve Mafi Thomas Waldrom Jordan Crane (capt) Replacements: Chuter, Ayerza, Castrogiovanni, Slater, Thorpe, Harrison, Ford, Smith

Bring  on Toulouse's 'boo boys', says Leicester Tigers' Toby Flood

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