Toby Flood eyes a future abroad
December 4, 2013
Toby Flood - 60 England appearances ,,, but how many more will there be? © Getty Images
Leicester fly-half Toby Flood has given the biggest indication yet he is considering effectively ending his England career by moving abroad, while at the same saying he was still negotiating with the club.
Flood, 28, is out of contract at the end of the season and has been linked with a move to Jonny Wilkinson's Toulon. Such a switch would likely rule him out of international contention, but having been reduced to an understudy role of late Flood concedes he is left with a difficult decision.
"I would never leave Leicester for another English club but I know I have to make up my mind as it affects other people and their livelihoods," he told the Daily Telegraph. "I have spoken to Stuart [Lancaster, England coach] and tried to be as open and honest as I can be. But, no, I haven't been on the phone yet to Jonny.
"I imagine a move [overseas] would probably rule me out of England. For me, it is no longer about whether a move might further my career. It's about where I feel comfortable, about who I enjoy hanging out with and where I'm living."
With Flood's future a talking point for some time, Leicester have reportedly given him until the end of the year to make up his mind, but he indicated leaving was not a done deal. "I love this place and that is why everything is taking so long. We have started talking and it is really positive."
Leicester coach Richard Cockerill told the newspaper be believes England should do all they can to hold on to Flood. "[They] don't want to be in the position where their most experienced player is not around. If Farrell were to get injured before the World Cup who is the next person ready to go?
"England's style probably does militate a bit against Toby and there was disappointment that he didn't get more of a go in the autumn. It's all very well saying Owen needs the experience, but as New Zealand have found out you have got to be able to drop into the depth of your squad very quickly."
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