While England may not have traditionally been the most adaptable of sides, they have shown their mettle by coming from behind to beat both Argentina and Scotland so far at the Rugby World Cup.
“It is certainly a confidence-builder to know that when you are behind you can close games out,” said captain Lewis Moody ahead of tomorrow’s quarter- final against France.
“The most important thing is to win no matter what the game has been like. When you have the Chris Ashtons, the Jonny Wilkinsons, the Toby Floods, the Ben Youngs, the forward pack – you have the arsenal there to take that victory.”
England beat France at the semi-final stage in both 2003 and 2007, with Wilkinson’s boot a key factor in both matches, but Flood was at the helm for this year’s Six Nations win.
Johnson has shifted his selection policy by naming them both to start tomorrow, with Wilkinson at fly-half and Flood at inside centre.
England had settled on a policy of selecting a powerful ball-carrier and solid defender at inside centre instead of a second playmaker. But Flood’s inclusion offers them a second kicking option and improved distribution which should help Manu Tuilagi, Ashton, Mark Cueto and Ben Foden.