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England caps to dry up for Flood

TOBY FLOOD is expected to be omitted from England's Elite Player Squad, curtailing his international career, according to Richard Cockerill, the Leicester manager.

Bath's former Leicester fly-half George Ford is expected to replace 28-year-old Flood in Stuart Lancaster's revised RBS 6 Nations squad when it is announced today.

Flood is primed for a summer move to French Top 14 behemoths Toulouse and England uphold their staunch policy of not selecting overseas-based players. Lancaster looks likely to pre-empt Flood's move by promoting 20-year-old Ford now rather than wait until the summer.

"We've had discussions about it. It looks like that might be the case, that Toby may not be included, but we'll have to wait and see," Cockerill said. "You could intimate that if Toby is left out, that he is moving to France. I would be upset if he left us and went to an English club.

"He could still pick Toby but Stuart always looks to the future and, if Toby is not going to be in the country, it probably makes sense to look to the future."

Leicester are understood to have all but completed a deal to bring Gloucester's Freddie Burns to Welford Road next season as Flood's replacement.

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