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Last Updated: Monday, 17 September 2007, 10:41 GMT 11:41 UK
Flood replaces Noon at World Cup
Toby Flood
Newcastle's Flood has won nine caps for England
England have called up Newcastle back Toby Flood to replace injured centre Jamie Noon at the World Cup.

Flood, who can also cover fly-half, was drafted in after Noon suffered a tournament-ending knee ligament injury in Friday's defeat by South Africa.

England's top two fly-halves - Jonny Wilkinson and Olly Barkley - missed the South Africa game with injury.

Both should be fit for Saturday's game against Samoa, while Jason Robinson hopes to return against Tonga.

Sale prop Stuart Turner will also join England on stand-by, replacing Bristol's Darren Compton who flew out as temporary cover in the immediate aftermath of skipper Phil Vickery's two-match ban for tripping USA centre Paul Emerick.

The 22-year-old Flood, who will provide England with another goal-kicking option, was unlucky to miss out on the original 30-man World Cup squad.

Jason Robinson
I'm hoping to be available for the Tonga game

Jason Robinson

But his call-up comes on the back of a man-of-the-match display in Newcastle's Guinness Premiership victory over Sale Sharks on Sunday.

England's injury crisis forced them to select veteran centre Mike Catt at fly-half against South Africa, with a brief to share the duties with rugby league convert Andy Farrell, who was named as the goal-kicker.

"We had a big problem last week with an unfortunate set of injuries and we couldn't let that happen again with the goal-kicking," said England coach Brian Ashton.

"Toby covers two positions, so there's flexibility about where he can play, but the goal-kicking was the main thing."

Wilkinson says he has recovered from the ankle injury he sustained in training before the World Cup.

"I'm fit now," Wilkinson told The Times. "So I am, as we stand, now available for selection.

"Kicking-wise I've been working mostly on my left foot but I fully expect to be working on my right foot this week."

Barkley should also be in contention having recovered from a hip injury he also suffered in training after the opener against USA.

I take the ultimate responsibility for what goes on, irrespective of what that is

England coach Brian Ashton

Full-back Robinson will definitely miss the Samoa game after limping off with a hamstring injury against South Africa.

But he began jogging on Monday and could return later in the tournament.

"I am fine. I'm hoping to be available for the Tonga game. That is my goal. I am quietly optimistic," he said.

"I've got nothing to lose. I'm going to do everything I can possible to make that game."

Ashton will name his team on Tuesday for Saturday's vital World Cup pool match, with England desperate for a win as they try to reach the last eight.

606: DEBATE

A 28-10 victory against the United States and the 36-0 thrashing by South Africa leave England in third place in Pool A behind the Springboks and Tonga.

England have yet to score a bonus point - for scoring four or more tries in a match or for losing by less than seven points - and though defeat to Samoa would not mean automatic failure to qualify, realistically they must win.

"I take the ultimate responsibility for what goes on, irrespective of what that is," said Ashton.

"But everybody, the management and the players, has to stand up and be counted now. We've got to play two Cup finals in two weeks. It is as simple as that.

"The mood at the moment is we are here to beat Samoa. We're not looking any further than that, to be brutally honest. We would be very foolish to do so.

"What we've got to do is make sure we beat Samoa, beat Tonga and once we are in the quarter-finals, it becomes a different ball game."



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