Leicester prepare for life after Flood
December 12, 2013
In his final season at Welford Road? © PA Photos
Leicester appear increasingly resigned to losing fly-half Toby Flood when his contract expires at the end of the season. Although negotiations are continuing, the likelihood of him moving to France appears to grow by the day.
Leicester's director of rugby Richard Cockerill told the Daily Telegraph that they were already lining up replacements although they cannot make formal approaches until January 1.
"It's no secret that Toby Flood has not re-signed and he is looking at what he does," Cockerill said. "It would be remiss of us not to go out there and see what is in the market. Freddie Burns is out of contract, Rhys Priestland is out of contract and there are one or two players out of contract in the Southern Hemisphere and in France, so we are looking at lots of people. If those guys are out of contract on Jan 1, certainly in the Premiership, we will be having those discussions if it's the right thing to do."
He said that a decision was needed from Flood sooner rather than later. "That's not because we are putting the heat on him, it's because, if he is not going to stay, then we need to find another person or spend that money on a different position, whether that's full-back or a wing. It's not decided that Toby is going to leave. We are talking contractual things - money and terms and other things - and he needs to see where that lies. He has been very professional, he's not a hard-ball guy, and he's very sensible.
"He's 28 and if he thinks his England career is over or he is not going to be first choice for England or get the opportunity to be first choice for England and if he wants to cash in by going to France I can understand that."
He also warned Flood that while a move to France would be lucrative, it might not help his career. "I know because I have been there and done it. All that glistens is not gold all the time. Jonny Sexton will not be a better player for being in France. He will be a wealthier player but he will not be better. That's the way it is and the sooner you realise that, the better."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Huw Richards rewinds to 1864 to mark the birth of Welsh rugby's first authentic star - Arthur Gould
Michael Cheika has succeeded in becoming the Wallabies coach under his own terms, writes Greg Growden
In the blink of an eye, a winger can go from a hero to villain. Hugh Godwin talks to Zac Guildford and David Strettle about life on the flank
Munster, No.8s, the imploding Australians, wonderful Glasgow and Lancaster's dilemma - it is Monday Maul time