George Ford had plenty of reasons to cheer in the wake of England’s record-breaking win over Ireland on Saturday, not least that his first start in 14 months at No10 with Owen Farrell occupying the No12 channel outside him went so well.
The Ford/Farrell 10/12 axis had been a flourishing feature of England’s early years under Eddie Jones, but the coach moved away from this selection tactic following the summer 2018 tour to South Africa.
Throughout 2018/19 it became more a case of Farrell running the show at out-half with Ford coming off the bench to replace him. However, with less than a month to go before the start of the World Cup, Jones has successfully rekindled the Ford/Farrell 10/12 combination which thrived in having the bulwark Manu Tuilagi playing the No13 role further along the line against the Irish.
Ford told RugbyPass: “I’ve just tried to improve my game as much as I can and keep my feet on the ground in terms of ‘you can always get better’. I always say this. Whatever your role is you do the best thing for the team, whether you’re starting, finishing or even the non-23 who played a massive role (against Ireland).
“Manu had some good continuity. You’re seeing some good things from him but I honestly do believe he is still getting better and building as well. He’s going to be unbelievable for us, he has got a massive smile on his face and he’s loving it at the minute.
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) August 24, 2019
“With him and people like Joe (Cokanasiga) you want to get the ball in their hands and use their attacking threats. That is why they are the most dangerous players on the field when they do that, so we have got to do our job on the inside for them.”
Having started all there of England’s World Cup warm-up matches so far, Ford is enjoying being back at the heart of the operation under Jones.
“Positive as a whole but look, we’re still building. We did some good stuff (against Ireland). There are still some things we need to work on which is exciting at the same time. We’ll make sure that with our week in Treviso coming up and our last game against Italy, we’ll aim to do that. As far as Ireland goes, another step forward. We’re excited about where we can go.”
WATCH: George Ford talks to RugbyPass in the wake of England’s record-breaking win over Ireland
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