Q&A: Toby Flood on his decision to rejoin the Falcons

Tuesday 09 May 2017 Written by: Adam

**Q: How excited are you about coming back to Newcastle Falcons, and how did your decision come about?**

**Toby Flood:** The short answer is very excited, and when the opportunity came onto the table it didn’t take long for me to make the decision.

Life has changed for both me and the club since I originally left at the age of 22, moving my possessions down the motorway in a plastic bag on the back seat of a small car. Now I’ll need an 18-ton truck and it’s going to take three days just to get packed, so things have definitely changed on the home and family side. There’s no denying it’s a family as well as a rugby decision, but fortunately the rugby side also falls into place with the great progress Newcastle have been making.

It really feels like I’m coming home, and I’ve watched a fair amount of Newcastle’s games in recent months. The club’s backs and attack coach Dave Walder has been sending me a lot of stuff in terms of footage and information about their shape and philosophy, and I’ve had long chats with him about that side of things. Dean Richards came over to Toulouse to see me a little while ago, I came over to Newcastle a couple of weeks ago to have a good look around and meet with Dean and the chairman, Semore Kurdi, and we’ve also spoken a few times on the phone in between. I just wanted to get the full picture about where the club is, where it’s going, and it had to be right.

If I’m honest this is probably my last or my second-last contract, and you can’t enter into it lightly. 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 style of play they’re showing is exactly how I like to play, and it’s also a chance to hopefully put something back into the club at which I started as a professional. It’s as good as it gets.

**Q: Physically, you’re confident you’re in good nick?**

**TF:** I feel comfortable with my fitness, I feel good about it and I’m really enjoying my rugby. It’s probably fair to say French rugby is a little more rigorous on the body in terms of sheer physicality, but the Premiership has a greater pace and ball-in-play time. I feel like I’ve got a good base, I think Newcastle’s 3G pitch will suit the way I like to play and from watching their recent games I’m definitely joining a team who like to run the ball.

**Q: Not wishing to get ahead of ourselves, but the fact you’ll be playing in England again makes you eligible for national selection. Was that a consideration in your decision?**

**TF:** Not really, no. Obviously you’d never say never, but the reality is the reason I’ve come back is to give as much as I can to Newcastle Falcons. If anything comes after that then great, but it’s not a motivation for choosing to move back here. England have got Owen Farrell and George Ford, and even a guy like Freddie Burns can’t get a sniff despite having played really well all season for one of the top teams. There’s a wealth of talent at fly-half for England, and as much as I’d never say never to a call-up, at this moment in time I’m aware that I’m an older man, and that I’m down the pecking order.

– *Season ticket memberships for the 2017-18 season are already available, starting from just £210 for adults. All paying adults can book up to two free under-11s season ticket memberships, extended to under-15s for those registered with RFU-affiliated clubs. To book call 0871 226 6060 or [**click here**.][1]*

[1]: https://www.eticketing.co.uk/newcastle-falcons/details/event.aspx?itemref=3072