Wednesday 18 October 2017

Flood to risk England exile in Toulouse switch

Leicester's Toby Flood
Leicester's Toby Flood

England will be forced to rethink their strategy at fly-half as it has emerged that Leicester's Toby Flood is expected to join Toulouse next season.

Stuart Lancaster names a revised Elite Player Squad on January 9 and is set to replace Flood, who would effectively make himself ineligible for England by moving overseas. The England head coach was in Sale last night to watch a resurgent Danny Cipriani, although Bath's uncapped 20-year-old out-half George Ford remains the most likely to benefit from Flood's exile.

Another England No 10, Gloucester's Freddie Burns, heads Leicester's wish-list as a replacement, with talks also on-going with representatives of Wales and Scarlets fly-half Rhys Priestland. Burns himself admitted last week that his form has suffered as he ponders his future and it is no coincidence that Gloucester have dropped him to the bench for tomorrow's Aviva Premiership match against Worcester.

Flood, too, misses his side's game against Saracens but through injury.

Flood himself took to Twitter yesterday to deny that a deal had yet been done -- "I've not agreed to anything and will decide in January" -- although it is understood that the formalities are all but complete.

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