Leicester Tigers in safe hands, says departing Toby Flood
Leicester Tigers and England fly-half Toby Flood believes he will be leaving the side in safe hands when he departs for the autumn internationals.
Flood is one of eight Tigers players who were called up to Stuart Lancaster's England squad yesterday ahead of their series of internationals, which starts with a game against Fiji on November 10.
The squad meet up tomorrow for a five-week period, following Tigers' Aviva Premiership clash with Gloucester today.
It means the Tigers' eight will most likely be unavailable for key fixtures, most notably when Tigers welcome local rivals Northampton Saints to Welford Road a week today.
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"That is a bit bitter-sweet," admitted Flood.
"The East Midlands derby is one of the big fixtures we look forward to as a team and to have it fall on a rest week is quite detrimental to us in terms of individuals because we are desperate to play in it.
"But you obviously want to represent your country as it's one of those things you want to do as a child.
"The great thing is you know if you do leave, you leave the side in a safe pair of hands.
"For the likes of myself, you've got George Ford, Dan Bowden behind you and Matt Tait is coming back to fitness, Geordan Murphy is back and Adam Thompstone will be around.
"So you know the side is full of talent, which is fantastic because the ability of those guys to step in and perform well is unquestionable.
"You know if you do leave, you've left it in a manner that, hopefully, won't be detrimental to the club because there is such exceptional talent behind you," he said.
"But it's going to be a fantastic autumn with Australia and New Zealand coming over and, hopefully, we will have the chance to go out there and play some good rugby and cause them a few problems."
Flood played an integral role in Tigers' 39-22 Heineken Cup victory against the Ospreys at the weekend.
He scored an impressive breakaway try as well as notching up five penalties and two conversions.
The 27-year-old, who has won 50 caps for his country and scored 243 points, said he feels happy and positive about how he, and Tigers, are playing.
"You want to arrive at a series feeling good and feeling comfortable. That's very important," he said.
"After a good result against the Ospreys and the team playing really well over the past couple of weeks, apart from the disappointment against Toulouse, it's a good place for us to be in and we are feeling mentally in a good spot."