Toby Flood: Richard Cockerill confirms Leicester fly-half's exit

Leicester Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill has confirmed England fly-half Toby Flood will be leaving the club at the end of the season.

Flood, 28, said on Friday he had not yet made a decision on his future.

But increasing speculation has linked him with a move to France.

Cockerill told BBC Radio Leicester following Saturday's Premiership defeat against Saracens: "Toby rang me and said that he has decided he wanted to move on and do different things."

Tigers had hoped to persuade Flood to extend his five-year stay at Welford Road.

Flood's playing career

  • Age: 28
  • Clubs: Newcastle (2004-2008), Leicester (2008-present)
  • League titles won: Three with Leicester
  • England debut: v Argentina in 2006
  • Caps: 60
  • Test points: 301 (four tries)

Cockerill added: "He wants to do different things which is disappointing because we want our best guys to stay.

"We put our best foot forward financially and term-wise. I don't know where he is going but if he is going to France you would imagine the finance would be better."

If Flood does move to France it would effectively rule him out of playing for England in the 2015 World Cup on home soil as the Rugby Football Union currently has a policy of not selecting foreign-based players unless as an emergency measure.

Flood, who has won 60 England caps, tweeted  on Friday: "To confirm, I've not agreed to anything and as I've said before I will decide in January. Thanks."

He had been linked with Toulon, but according to reports in France, Toulouse are now favourites to secure his signature. 

Wherever Flood goes, Cockerill had no doubts he will continue to be a model professional while with the Tigers.

"Floody has been very good for us," Cockerill said. "He is the club captain and will continue to be the club captain until the end of the season.

"He is clearly very committed and wants to be successful this season.

"We will just carry on. A lot of very good players in the last 20 years have moved on. Floody will be one of those. No one is bigger than the club."

Tigers have been linked with several players to replace Flood, with Gloucester's Freddie Burns among the favourites.