Leicester Tigers fly-half and captain Toby Flood conceded he agonised over his decision to leave the club at the end of the season.
Flood is widely expected to head for France, following in the footsteps of ex-England counterpart Jonny Wilkinson, with Toulouse rumoured to be his destination.
"It was a very tough decision and I weighed up many factors which gave me sleepless nights," the 28-year-old told the Leicester Mercury.
"It was never an easy decision as it would mean leaving a place like this. I know what success means to the boys and I know what it means to be around them.
"First and foremost, this is a good bunch of boys and that was the biggest factor.
"But other bits and pieces came into it, like the England situation and where I wanted to be and what opportunities I may have.
"It came down to what felt right for me over the next three or four years.
"It was a hugely close call but there were three or four factors that made me think this was my last shot at it, if I wanted to go (abroad)."
And Flood admitted he sought advice from veteran and long-time friend Wilkinson on the pros and cons of a cross-Channel switch.
"I chatted to Wilko. We catch up every month or so anyway. And I also keep in contact with Jamie Noon (former Newcastle team-mate)," added Flood.
"Of course, you ask for people's opinions but he was no way a deciding factor. He is a guy I am still friendly with and I respect his opinion.
"He didn't say stay or go and he was just honest saying how he enjoyed some of it in France and didn't like some of it."