Toby Flood casts aside Jonny Wilkinson popularity

Even if Toby Flood is right in suspecting 58 million Englishmen want Jonny Wilkinson to start at fly-half in the World Cup, there is only one man whose opinion really counts.

And Flood will set out on Saturday, in England's second warm-up international against Wales, to convince manager Martin Johnson he deserves that precious 10 jersey.



The Leicester fly-half has been England's first choice since replacing people's favourite Wilkinson at the end of the 2010 Six Nations.



But Wilkinson made an impressive pitch to reclaim the role with a man-of-the-match performance against Wales in last weekend's 23-19 victory.



Flood will get his opportunity to respond in the return match at the Millennium Stadium this weekend - but admits he will be on trial for his World Cup place.



"I don't think I've ever been in charge of that 10 shirt," said Flood.



"It has always been hugely difficult for me to have it. The scenario has always been that Jonny, given his opportunity, will have a standout game and he did that.



"To me it is nothing new and I have just got to shrug my shoulders and get on with it. The nice things is there is a guy who is driving you hard.



"Whenever you play for England you are always on trial. You have got the responsibility of playing for your country. It is always a high pressure game so nothing really changes.



"The guys have played well and the team have won a game. There is a massive responsibility on us to make it two from two this weekend."



Flood was Wilkinson's protege during their days at Newcastle but broke out of his shadow once and for all over the last 18 months, playing an influential role in England's resurgence.



Wilkinson was dropped after England's bore draw against Scotland at Murrayfield. Since then, Flood has helped them beat Australia twice and rise to fourth in the world.



But Wilkinson will forever be the hero at Twickenham and England fans still reserve their biggest ovation for the man whose drop-goal won the 2003 World Cup final.



"It is the history he's had playing for England. He has been a stalwart of the England side for a long time, and someone people respond to really well," said Flood.



"There will be 58 million people in England who probably think I shouldn't be in charge of it (the fly-half position).



"All I can do is concentrate on playing as well as I can every time I have a chance. I know he's around but it is the same for everyone in the squad, there is competition in all position."



England will today learn the results of Lewis Moody's knee scan but Johnson is confident the injury he suffered at Twickenham will not rule him out of the World Cup.



PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
From Mean Girls to Mamet: Lindsay Lohan
theatre
Sport
Nathaniel Clyne (No 2) drives home his side's second goal past Arsenal’s David Ospina at the Emirates
footballArsenal 1 Southampton 2: Arsène Wenger pays the price for picking reserve side in Capital One Cup
News
Mike Tyson has led an appalling and sad life, but are we not a country that gives second chances?
peopleFormer boxer 'watched over' crash victim until ambulance arrived
Arts and Entertainment
Geena Davis, founder and chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
tv
News
i100
Travel
travelGallery And yes, it is indoors
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
The Tiger Who Came To Tea
booksJudith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed'
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
News
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Syria air strikes: ‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings

Robert Fisk on Syria air strikes

‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings
Will Lindsay Lohan's West End debut be a turnaround moment for her career?

Lindsay Lohan's West End debut

Will this be a turnaround moment for her career?
'The Crocodile Under the Bed': Judith Kerr's follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

The follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

Judith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed' - which has taken 46 years to get into print
BBC Television Centre: A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past

BBC Television Centre

A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past
Lonesome George: Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains

My George!

Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains
10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Pack up your troubles: 10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Off on an intrepid trip? Experts from student trip specialists Real Gap and Quest Overseas recommend luggage for travellers on the move
Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world