Toby Flood(ing) to Toulouse
Fri, 14 Mar 2014 21:15
England flyhalf Toby Flood has signed a three-year deal with Top 14 giants Toulouse from English heavyweights Leicester.
Toulouse's recruitment chief Jean-Michel Rancoule confirmed the long-anticipated signing to AFP, saying it was "good news" for the four-time former European champions.
"Toulouse symbolise French rugby," Flood said on the club's website.
"There is so much history at the heart of the club, which is respected in the international rugby world.
"I find many similarities between the history that exists here, in Toulouse, and that which exists in Leicester.
"That's moreover one of the reasons which made me want to join this club: I hope to live the same great adventure in Toulouse that I've already experienced in England."
The 28-year-old Flood signs for Toulouse after five years with Leicester.
And with England coach Stuart Lancaster holding firm to a policy of not selecting overseas-based players, Flood's decision is likely to end his Test career just a year out from the 2015 World Cup in England.
Flood, who racked up 299 points for England and would have scored many more if not for the presence of Toulon's Jonny Wilkinson, added: "I've really appreciated all the years I've spent at Leicester.
"But coming here will be a new life for me, with, no doubt, new things to learn.
"It's as if I'm going to have to become a child once again to relearn a new way of life and new way of playing at Toulouse."
Flood, capped 60 times for England, will be up against former All Black Luke McAlister for the number 10 shirt, with French international Lionel Beauxis opting to leave for Bordeaux-Begles next season.
The signing of Flood follows that of France full-back/winger Alexis Palisson from Toulon.
Toulouse have also extended the contracts of props Schalk Ferreira of South Africa and Georgian Vasil Kakovin, centre Yann David and back row forward Gilian Galan.
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