Toby Flood, the skipper of the Aviva Premiership Rugby Football Union club and the reigning champions the Leicester Tigers has become the only players from the champions to lose his place in the newly formed Elite Player Squad for the England Rugby Team as announced by Stuart Lancaster, the national team boss in London.
The 28 year old is expected to sever his ties with Leicester this summer and move to France for a much more lucrative payday and with the policy of England not picking any players playing rugby overseas, finds his place taken over by his former protégé at the Tigers George Ford, who will replace him in the Elite Player Squad as Lancaster starts planning for the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
The England Rugby Team revealed that he had several meetings with Flood with the last couple of months as he tried to persuade him to change his mind about moving overseas and commit himself to England in order to be eligible for selection to the England team for the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
Lancaster revealed that he told Flood he would really love it if he stayed in England and played for England but admitted that the player had made a lifestyle choice and he has to respect his decision as well.
Elsewhere, all the other Leicester Tigers players including Geoff Parling, Manu Tuilagi, Tom and Ben Youngs as well as Dan Cole all kept their places in the Elite Player Squad, making them eligible for selection for the England Rugby Team.
The Tigers provide the bulk of the players for the England national team alongside the likes of Harlequins FC and Saracens FC and with the loss of Flood, England will face an uphill task in the competition where he has a lot of experience.