Flood admits to sleepless nights before decision
January 20, 2014
A sight unlikely to be seen again ... Toby Flood in England kit © Getty Images
Toby Flood said he suffered sleepless nights over his decision to move the France and in effect call time on his international career. He also revealed he had consulted Jonny Wilkinson before making up his mind.
"The hardest decision was leaving the boys behind or staying with them," Flood told the Times. "That was always the biggest thing, always the biggest factor. Accompanying that was other bits and pieces. England, where we wanted to be, what opportunity you had, and certain situations surrounding terms and contracts.
"It was all thrown into the melting pot and ultimately it came down to a decision of what I felt was right, for me now, for the next three, four, five years.
"It was undoubtedly a very tough decision, one weighed up on many factors and it was quite a few sleepless nights. It was hugely close. You don't want to say a flip of the coin, it certainly wasn't. There were certainly two or three factors in the negotiations that probably came down to me thinking this was my last shot at it."
He said that Wilkinson had not told him to stay or go. "He was just honest about what he felt about it, how he's enjoyed it, how he's not enjoyed certain parts of it."
Flood admitted the temptation was to stay where he was and play safe but "if I stayed for another three or four years [I might have] missed my chance to go and do something, explore something that I wanted to do for a long time?"
Asked about his England position, he said he fully understood Stuart Lancaster's policy of only picking players based in England but said he had an international release clause in his new contract … just in case.
"He [Lancaster] wants to build for 2015 and then beyond that. I know that I wouldn't have been involved post-2015; I think his decision then was to move on and build the next generation of guys and expose them to international rugby. But you know there's still an option, which is great, and we'll see how that goes."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Martin Gillingham looks ahead to what he believes is the most remarkable ever climax to the league phase of the Top 14
With just two rounds left in the regular season, we look at the prospects of the teams taking part in the Championship play-offs
Joe Simpson talks to Charlie Morgan about loss, Wasps and being England's game-breaker
It is 100 years this week since the last international match played in Europe before the outbreak of World War One. Rewind remembers the fixture's longest-living survivor