The news of Toby Flood’s injury is not good, by all accounts – he’s had a scan on the medial ligaments in his knee today, and there’s a chance he’ll miss most of the season.
We’ll obviously know more once the scan results have been confirmed, but there are suggestions that he could be out for between 6 and 9 months. That would throw the Tigers deeper into an injury crisis, with their fly-half cover looking slightly thin – Jeremy Staunton isn’t generally regarded as an able replacement, young Joe Ford is a little on the inexperienced side for a strong European campaign and Billy Twelvetrees hasn’t had much game time at 10 either.
Flood’s injury is also bad news for England. He had just about usurped King Jonny as the starting fly-half, but is now very likely to miss the Autumn Internationals, which leaves Johnno short of options at 10.
If Jonny stays fit, he’ll no doubt step in, but the cover is slightly lacking. Charlie Hodgson, Shane Geraghty and Stephen Myler are all in the Saxons squad, so you’d assume one of those would be called up, but that doesn’t necessarily instil confidence.
Hodgson and Geraghty have both been tried and then dropped, whilst Myler’s display for Northampton against Leicester at the weekend left a little to be desired.
And then there’s Olly Barkley, relegated from the England setup after the Australia tour, and told he needs to work on his defence. Why Geraghty and Hodgson are above him in that regard is slightly mystifying, but perhaps Flood’s injury could be an opportunity for Barkley return.
My England pecking order of those likely to be in contention in Flood’s absence would be:
What do you think?