Falcons star expects French flood

Newcastle centre Toby Flood is expecting another epic encounter in Paris next weekend as England and France clash in the RBS 6 Nations at the Stade de France. [more]

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Newcastle centre Toby Flood is expecting another epic encounter in Paris next weekend as England and France clash in the RBS 6 Nations at the Stade de France.

The pair met at the same venue in the World Cup semi-final last October when Brian Ashton’s side took the spoils as Josh Lewsey opened the scoring with a try before Jonny Wilkinson kicked his side to victory.

Wilkinson and Flood combined in similar fashion to help the Falcons beat Saracens in the Guinness Premiership on Sunday at Kingston Park.

Flood scored his fourth try in as many matches to open the scoring before man-of-the-match Wilkinson added 11 points with the boot, including a penalty in the dying minutes to snatch victory.

"It’s definitely the game everyone has been looking forward to and everyone has set their eyes on," said Flood.

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"The semi-final of the World Cup is still fresh in the mind of both teams so hopefully it will be a good game and a good spectacle."

Flood expects the French to display their customary attacking flair on Saturday in contrast to their nervy performance as World Cup hosts.

Despite Clement Poitrenaud’s absence with a broken ankle, Flood is wary of the threat posed by the likes of Vincent Clerc and Aurelien Rougerie.

"The way they are prepared to move the ball around just like we are means it could be a leave-your-lungs-out-on-the-field type of game," he added.

"They will have momentum because it’s France in Paris. They’ll throw it around with Clerc and, even though Poitrenaud’s broken his ankle, Rougerie. They will definitely try to get the ball to those areas and try to move us around."

Flood was pleased to continue his scoring streak, which started against Leicester before England’s Six Nations meetings with Wales and Italy.

"It was good to get on the scoresheet," he said. "We were feeling good, especially at half-time.

"We definitely felt we were in control of the game but, probably due to our own fault, turned it over too many times and tried to force it a bit and they fed off our mistakes.

"Credit to them. The played really well until the last decision, which gave us the chance to sneak it."

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