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George Ford exit rumours begin to swirl once again

By Ian Cameron
George Ford of England receives a pass from Owen Farrell of England during a training session at Stade Ferdinand Petit on September 01, 2023 in Le Touquet-Paris-Plage, France. England will face Argentina in their first Rugby World Cup France 2023 match on September 9, 2023. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Sale Sharks and England standoff George Ford is once again being linked with an exit from Sale Sharks and the Gallagher Premiership – at least according to French outlet Midi Olympique.


The flyhalf – who is currently with the England team in their World Cup training base in Le Touquet-Paris-Plage – is being tied to Stuart Lancaster’s Racing 92.

The Racing 92 rumours are nothing new – with The Rugby Paper reporting on it back in June – but Midi say that the Ford deal to Paris deal is still on the table, with the diminutive playmaker ‘being offered’ to the big spending French giants.

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One thing is clear, Sale would not be able to compete with the salary on offer from Racing 92. It is speculated that Ford could potentially double his salary from £400,000 per season to £800,000 if he were to make the move across the channel.


Scotland flyhalf Finn Russell moved to Bath over the summer and currently Racing have just two flyhalves listed on their team page: the relatively low-key duo of Antoine Gilbert and Tristan Tedder.

Ford signed a “long-term contract” with Sale in 2021, of which he is just one season into.

Racing had been pursuing fellow England 10 Marcus Smith, who instead opted to stay at Harlequins. In July Ford revealed that Smith’s England teammates had been teasing the young playmaker about the move.

“Whatever the rumours were about Racing a few weeks ago, everyone was saying, ‘You were always going to stay at Quins, you were just using that as a bit of leverage’. I have spoken to him. Obviously, he is delighted to be staying, it’s his club and the influence he has on that team is incredible so I’m sure everyone at Quins will be buzzing for him to stay.


“I can only speak for myself but when you’re English and you want to play for England, you’ve got to play for an English club. It means a lot to play at club level and international level for us all, it’s no different for Marcus.”

It seems that Ford is now in a similar position to Smith.

George Ford
George Ford of Sale Sharks looks on during the EPCR Challenge Cup Round Of Sixteen match between Cardiff Rugby and Sale Sharks at Cardiff Arms Park on April 01, 2023 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Ryan Hiscott/Getty Images for Sale Sharks)

Ford made his debut for Leicester Tigers in 2009, becoming the youngest rugby union player to make his professional debut in England, at just 16 years and 237 days.


After winning a Premiership title with Tigers in 2013, he moved to Bath, winning the Gilbert Golden Boot as the top-points scorer and winning LV= Young Player of the Year, before returning to Leicester for the 2018-19 season.

In total he made 88 appearances for Leicester Tigers before signing with Alex Sanderson’s ambitious Sale Sharks.

He made his England debut in 2014 and has since gone on to win 77 caps. He played a key role as Eddie Jones’s men reached the World Cup final in 2019.



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