Wood proud to lead England

Date published: August 17 2015

England flanker Tom Wood was delighted to lead his country to victory as they began their World Cup warm-ups on a positive note against France.

In the first of three warm-up matches, the English edged les Bleus 19-14 at Twickenham on Saturday, with Wood leading by example in the back-row.

Wing duo Anthony Watson (two) and Jonny May scored England's three tries while Sam Burgess, Henry Slade and Calum Clark all made their Test debuts.

"After seven or eight weeks of hard graft it was great to put it into action out there on the field," the hard-working flanker told the England Rugby podcast. 

"I'm dead proud of the lads and chuffed for all the debutants, who I think gave good accounts of themselves.

"We had some new combinations and you've got to find the answers to some questions. Now's the time to do it, and we'll learn a lot from the game. We made substitutions earlier than we might normally do, had some sin-bins which were hard to manage, but we still came away with a win against a good French side.

"It's great to get off the mark. It wasn't perfect by any stretch of the imagination and there's plenty to work on, but we'll always take a win at Twickenham."

Whilst being proud of captaining his country once again, the Northampton Saint revealed he wouldn't savour it too much at the moment as bigger tests await the team.

"It is an honour, but I try not to build it up to be more than it is, to be honest," added Wood.

"When I reflect back on it I'll be very proud, but it's important to not make it just about me. It's a team effort and I'm surrounded by leaders, and I rely on that."