Planet Rugby

Flood backs Benjamin for England

09th December 2013 05:57

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LEICESTER MILES BENJAMIN MONTPELLIER HEINEKEN CUP

Two tries: Miles Benjamin

Leicester skipper Toby Flood believes his team-mate Miles Benjamin can break into the England squad if he stays injury free.

Benjamin returned to action earlier this season after a lengthy spell on the sidelines with a serious neck injury. He shone on the left wing for the Tigers, scoring a brace of tries in two minutes in Sunday's 41-32 Heineken Cup win over Montpellier.

Leicester's win kept up the pressure on Pool Five leaders Ulster, who now lead the Tigers by two points ahead of their return clash with Montpellier next weekend.

When asked if he thought Benjamin, who has played for England's U20 and Saxons sides, has the pedigree to play at Test level, Flood said: "I think so. He just needs a run of games. It's tight for this Six Nations.

"There is a lot of quality there but a lot of that quality is getting injured. If he keeps putting his hand up I do think he's got a chance to be there and it would be a bit of a whirlwind year if he got picked in that squad and had a go in it.

"For me, he's got every attribute you want. He's in incredible shape, he's one of the fastest players I've ever played with and he understands the game really well.

"A credit to him is that he's going to get better and better in this side as people are going to ask more questions and want to see more of him and he's certainly got the potential to stand up to that."

Leicester boss Richard Cockerill was happy with the five points that consolidated their spot behind Ulster on the table, but bemoaned a lack of accuracy at times in the high-scoring game.

"We wanted to play today and we took our opportunities to score those first three tries very well and then we had three or four more opportunities to score that we didn't take," explained Cockerill.

"There were probably five or six tries left out there from both sides. We need to be more accurate.

"I don't think there will be as much life in the game next week than it was today but we'll see.

"We needed the five points and that was good for us. It keeps the pressure on Ulster but they're in the box seat. We've got to win next week at Montpellier really.

"We finish with Ulster here and we've still got Treviso which is no easy task either so there's a long way to go with some twists and turns. We'll see where we get to."

Cockerill also praised Benjamin, who he hopes will build on the performance against Montpellier.

"We know he's got pace and he's still getting better every time he plays and another 80 minutes and the confidence of getting over the whitewash is massive," Cockerill said.

"We know he's a fantastic player. That's why we signed him. We've not got the best out of him and hopefully this will be the start of a long run for him."

  • Champions Cup Fixtures
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Friday , October 24
Munster vs Saracens19:45
Saturday , October 25
Ulster vs Toulon13:00
Scarlets vs Leicester19:45
Bath vs Toulouse15:15
Montpellier vs Glasgow17:15
Northampton vs Ospreys17:15
Sunday , October 26
Clermont Auvergne vs Sale15:15
Castres vs Leinster13:00
Wasps vs Harlequins17:15
Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 9217:15
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Sunday , October 19
Toulouse 30 - 23 MontpellierToulouse vs Montpellier Report
Leinster 25 - 20 WaspsLeinster vs Wasps Report
Toulon 28 - 18 ScarletsToulon vs Scarlets Report
Ospreys 42 - 7 Benetton TrevisoOspreys vs Benetton Treviso Report
Saturday , October 18
Glasgow 37 - 10 BathGlasgow vs Bath Report
Sale Sharks 26 - 27 MunsterSale Sharks vs Munster Report
Racing Metro 92 20 - 11 NorthamptonRacing Metro 92 vs Northampton Report
Leicester 25 - 18 UlsterLeicester vs Ulster Report
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Friday , October 17
Harlequins 25 - 9 CastresHarlequins vs Castres Report
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Pool 1
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1Saracens15
2Munster14
3Sale Sharks11
4Clermont Auvergne11
Pool 2
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1Leinster14
2Harlequins14
3Wasps11
4Castres10
Pool 3
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1Toulon14
2Leicester Tigers14
3Ulster11
4Scarlets10
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1Glasgow Warriors15
2Toulouse14
3Montpellier11
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1Ospreys15
2Racing Metro Paris14
3Northampton10
4Treviso10