Flood's future depends on England recognition
October 9, 2013
Toby Flood is likely to skipper Leicester against Ulster on Friday © PA Photos
Leicester Tigers boss Richard Cockerill has suggested Toby Flood's future is likely to be swayed by how much time he gets for England during the autumn Tests.
Flood's contract is up at the end of the season and is reportedly attracting interest from Toulon and in the Far East. The fly-half has previously said he will wait until he New Year to decide where his future lies and Cockerill has suggested any decision may be reliant on whether he gets the nod for the autumn Tests.
Flood will be vying with Saracens' Owen Farrell and Gloucester's Freddie Burns for the starting fly-half spot and Cockerill has backed his man to deliver for England.
"He's got a decision to make," Cockerill told the Times. "If England don't want his services, he might think he's done everything here. Toby's played 50-odd Test matches and you can understand the thought process. The French thing, or the Japanese thing, would be a different lifestyle and there's obviously the money as well, but English players want to play in a World Cup at home and Toby has a lot to offer."
With the World Cup just under two years away, the pressure is on England to deliver come the autumn Tests. Games against Australia, Argentina and New Zealand will give Stuart Lancaster's men a stern examination of where they stand at the moment.
And Cockerill has suggested that Lancaster needs to be careful in how he manages his fly-half options.
"With Floody's experience, along with Owen's undoubted talent, it's a good mix, you manage them together as you would in any squad," Cockerill added. "If England don't use Flood and he decides to go and play abroad, then Farrell gets injured, who do you pick for the World Cup?"
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