ENGLAND MANAGER MARTIN Johnson has denied reports in the media that Jonny Wilkinson and Toby Flood would hold a private contest to determine who takes charge of kicking duties for England’s World Cup quarter-final against France on Saturday.
Going into the game, there has been much debate over which of the two players should be first-choice kicker, with Flood possessing a superior kicking record in the tournament thus far, as the more experienced Wilkinson has at times struggled for form.
And responding to claims that they were set to have a penalty shootout-style kick-off, Johnson told reporters:
“The media have made that up. We know what we’re doing. It’s a nice little story to write – we will decide who is going to take them.”
Meanwhile, Wilkinson has said he would be willing to give up kicking duties were it in the best interests of the team:
“Toby and I will both be preparing as hard as we can and we’ll probably make that decision after we’ve been to the stadium.”
The game takes place at 8.30am this Saturday, with both England and France having failed to produce fully convincing performances in the tournament so far.