London – England head coach Stuart Lancaster revealed on Monday that flyhalf Toby Flood will be sidelined for his country's Test against New Zealand on Saturday due to a toe injury.
Flood sustained ligament damage in the big toe of his right foot in a clash with two South Africa players during Saturday's 16-15
defeat at Twickenham and left the stadium in a protective boot after coming off just after half-time.
Lancaster said on Monday that the injury was not as bad as first feared, but he confirmed the Leicester star will not recover in time for the All Blacks' showdown this weekend.
Owen Farrell, who came off the bench to replace Flood, is set to take over at fly-half against the world champions, with the uncapped Freddie Burns likely to be named on the bench when Lancaster announces his 23-man squad on Thursday.
Flood's absence is another blow for Lancaster, who has seen England slump to disappointing defeats against South Africa and Australia in their last two matches.
Meanwhile, Bath wing Tom Biggs has received his first senior call-up after Ugo Monye suffered a calf injury, with Gloucester prop Nick Wood also linking up with England to act as precautionary cover for Alex Corbisiero.
Corbisiero played against South Africa but is only three matches into his comeback from a knee injury.
“Toby Flood's toe has been re-examined and there is no bone broken but we will need to see how it settles down over the next 24 hours,” Lancaster said.
“Freddie has been in for two of the last three weeks (as injury cover for Jordan Turner-Hall) so we know what he can bring and Nick Wood will provide cover as we manage Alex's knee at the start of the week.
“Tom is next in line from the Saxons and we are looking forward to getting a look at him.” – Sapa-AFP