French move will end Flood's England career
January 8, 2014
Flood's imminent move to Toulouse has seen him drop out of Lancaster's plans © PA Photos
Stuart Lancaster will call time on Toby Flood's international career when he names England's Elite Player Squad on Thursday. With Flood heading to Toulouse when his Leicester contract expires at the end of the season, he will fall foul of the RFU's hard-line stance on not picking players based abroad.
While Flood is available while he remains at Leicester, it is widely reported that England's coaches have decided he should be removed from the squad to accelerate the development of a suitable replacement.
Flood has been aware that his move to Toulouse - which cannot be made public by the club until April because of Top 14 regulations - was going to come at a cost and that was factored into his deliberations. But after starting only once for England in 2013, he appears to have decided playing second fiddle to Owen Farrell was not worth the cost.
Flood's removal is likely to open the door for Bath's George Ford who has enjoyed a good season at The Rec and is held in high regard by the England coaching set-up.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
"Some people have it from day one and Brian did." Tom Hamilton talks to the two players who made their Ireland debuts alongside Brian O'Driscoll back in June 1999
Despite having lost all four of their 2014 Six Nations games, the future of Italian rugby is bright with the team showing a new youthful core, argues Enrico Borra
"The loudest cheer at a rugby game, away from social media gimmicks, pumping music and pyrotechnics will always be for a try." Tom Hamilton on the Twickenham atmosphere
"The only thing that will stop this England team from becoming a great team is themselves. They need to ask themselves 'what can we be?'" The Phil Vickery column