Responding to derogatory comments recently made by Sam Burgess, Joe Ford has insisted that his brother, England fly-half George, is “the most selfless person I have ever known”. Burgess, the former England rugby league and union international, made headlines following his rumbustious appearance on a Rugby podcast.

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Burgess candidly revealed his version of how the 2015 World Cup allegedly unfolded and made stinging accusations about George Ford and his dad Mike, who was coaching Burgess at Bath at the time. 

Mike Ford was accused of being a “snake” whom Burgess alleged tried to “sabotage” England boss Stuart Lancaster, while Burgess added that his relationship with George Ford was never the same after the out-half was dropped to the bench in a selection reshuffle that saw Burgess play at No12 outside Owen Farrell at No10 versus Wales.

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Premiership Rugby have announced the start date for the resumption of the suspended 2019/20 Gallagher Premiership season

“My relationship with George completely changed,” said Burgess, who re-signed with NRL’s South Sydney Rabbitohs not long after the World Cup. “He wouldn’t talk to me, he was a bit sulky and Mike was a bit shady in the background. We lost, fell out of the World Cup and that’s when I went back to Bath and I couldn’t sit in the same room as Mike. I had to tell him I couldn’t play for him anymore, I’d lost respect for him.”

Having seen his family painted in a negative light, Joe Ford, the ex-Leicester out-half who is working as the backs coach at Doncaster Knights, tweeted: “For what it’s worth and I know he’s my brother, but George is the most selfless individual I have ever known. It’s crazy to suggest otherwise. 69 caps is an awful lot to get if you’re not all about the team. I know countless teammates will agree.”

Neither George nor Mike have yet responded themselves to the accusations made by Burgess, who left Bath and the Fords behind soon after England failed to qualify from their World Cup pool.  The Fords have since reunited at Leicester, George as first-choice out-half and Mike as an assistant coach under Geordan Murphy. 

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