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Friday 15 December 2017

Flood: I'm desperate to play the Springboks

TOBY FLOOD is "desperate" to reclaim the fly-half jersey for England's three-Test series against South Africa -- after fearing he would miss the tour.

Flood damaged his ankle against Bath and then suffered a groin problem which forced him to pull out of Leicester's Premiership final squad.

Leicester had been so anxious to keep Flood's condition under wraps that England coach Stuart Lancaster sparked a club-versus-country row when he commented on the situation.

Flood was "devastated" to miss the Premiership final but his focus is now trained on convincing Lancaster he is the best man to run England's attack against the Springboks.

"It was devastating to miss the final because I had worked so hard to get fit. I'd done 10 or 12 cryotherapy sessions.

"It's great to be going on the tour but in terms of where I am (in the pecking order) I will just keep my head down, keep working and keep the dialogue open with Stu.

"I will have to try to impress in training and put my hand up. I'll have to try to scream and shout without acting like a spoiled brat, to try to get that shirt back.

"Every single player in this squad wants to be involved in that first Test match.

"It's an outstanding challenge for us and I'm desperate to put my hand up to be involved."

France call up Michalak

Frederic Michalak has been named in France's squad for their two-match tour of Argentina next month.

Nine players were called up to Les Bleus squad for the first time while, as expected, captain Thierry Dusautoir is rested -- with Stade Francais lock Pascal Pape set to stand in as skipper.

Michalak, who has 54 caps to his name, last represented France in the 2010 Six Nations and has earned a recall on the back of his fine performances for South African Super 15 side Sharks.

France coach Philippe Saint-Andre said: "He has played very well with the Sharks. He has played at the highest level and can play at either 9 or 10.

"I can assure you he is very motivated and made every effort to return to the France team.

"We need a player with great potential and tremendous charisma. It's natural for him to come back."

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