England head coach Stuart Lancaster said he tried to convince Toby Flood to remain in his home country but ultimately failed with his attempt.
Flood, who moves to France at the season's end, was left out of England's Elite Player Squad, possibly bringing an end to his Test career.
Lancaster promoted Bath fly-half George Ford in Flood's place, temporarily adding Northampton's Stephen Myler to his Six Nations squad too.
"I'm disappointed that Toby's chosen to play in France next season," coach Lancaster said.
"I tried to encourage him to stay at Leicester, but it's a great opportunity for George to come in. Toby's been great for us and I respect him and his decision. I've got a great relationship with him, but he understands our policy.
"I would rather make the decision now at this point 20 months out from a World Cup to give someone like George Ford or Stephen Myler the chance to show what they can do now."