Toby Flood to face Scots as RFU clears him of ‘tip tackle’

England's Toby Flood: free to play in the Six Nations opener. Picture: PA
England's Toby Flood: free to play in the Six Nations opener. Picture: PA
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ENGLAND stand-off Toby Flood will be free to play against Scotland in the Six Nations opener at Twickenham on Saturday 2 February after his citing for an alleged tip tackle was not upheld, a Rugby Football Union panel announced last night.

Leicester’s Flood was found not to have been solely responsible for a dangerous tackle on Worcester counterpart Andy Goode in the second half of the Tigers’ 19-14 Aviva Premiership win at Sixways on Friday night.

If found guilty, Flood faced a ban of several weeks but a Rugby Football Union disciplinary panel decided not to uphold the citing.

The panel’s chairman Jeremy Summers confirmed, however, that Goode had indeed been the victim of a dangerous tackle.

Flood made the first hit on Goode before he was joined in the tackle by Tigers’ hooker Rob Hawkins. Worcester’s James Percival was also in close proximity.

Summer said last night: “Whilst we found that the elements of a dangerous tackle were made out, after very careful analysis we could not be satisfied, to that standard required, that the dynamics of the incident had not been caused, or contributed to, significantly by the involvement of other players from both teams.”

Flood is expected to be named as one of three stand-offs in England’s Six Nations squad today, when it is announced by head coach Stuart Lancaster.

Earlier in the evening, London Welsh hooker Neil Briggs was suspended for three weeks by the panel for punching 
Harlequins wing Sam Smith.