Toby Flooding back to England
NEWS: Toby Flood is returning to Newcastle Falcons, the club having re-signed the 60-times-capped England flyhalf from French giants Toulouse.
The Falcons academy graduate, 31, rejoins the Kingston Park club after nine years away, during which time he won three Premiership titles with Leicester Tigers before spending the past three seasons in the French top flight.
Delighted to have sealed a return to the club with whom he burst on to the Premiership scene, Flood said: "When the opportunity came onto the table it didn’t take long for me to make the decision
"It really feels like I’m coming home, and I’ve watched a fair amount of Newcastle’s games in recent months.
"The reality is that they didn’t have to do much of a sales pitch because the improvements at the club are obvious to see, and with the recruitment they have put in place it was too exciting a proposition to turn down,"
The former Morpeth RFC player, who studied at King’s School in Tynemouth and Northumbria University, made his Premiership debut for the Falcons back in 2005, going on to play 71 competitive games for the club over four seasons. Running out 119 times during his six seasons at Leicester, where he became club captain, Flood made 59 appearances for Toulouse during his three seasons in France.
Making his England debut against Argentina in 2006, he played for his country in the 2007 Rugby World Cup final and became a regular in the national squad before his decision to move to Toulouse in 2014 effectively made him ineligible for selection.
Falcons director of rugby Dean Richards said: "Toby is a proven performer at the very top level, he is a local lad and it is a huge boost for us to be able to add a player of his quality to our squad.
"He has vast leadership experience, he will bring an extra dimension to our game and this really is a signing which outlines the ambition we have to rise even further up the Premiership table.
"We have quality players coming through our academy and a number of major new signings joining us. All the signs are really positive for next season and it is a hugely exciting time to be involved with the club.”
Flood becomes the Falcons’ tenth confirmed signing for next season, following the previously-announced arrivals of DTH van der Merwe (Scarlets), Josh Matavesi (Ospreys), Maxime Mermoz (Leicester Tigers), Ryan Burrows (Yorkshire Carnegie), Sam Stuart (Richmond), Sami Mavinga (Lyon), Joel Matavesi (Redruth), Tevita Cavubati (Worcester Warriors) and Gary Graham (Jersey).