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RFU statement: George Ford ruled out of England tour

By Liam Heagney
England's George Ford (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

England will tour Japan and New Zealand without George Ford who became Steve Borthwick’s first-choice No10 during the recent Guinness Six Nations after Owen Farrell took a post-Rugby World Cup Test sabbatical.


Ford was expected to be named on Monday in the official tour squad along with fellow out-halves Marcus Smith and Fin Smith, but that will no longer be the case due to injury.

A statement read: “George Ford will miss England’s Summer Series to Japan and New Zealand. The fly-half is recovering from a pre-existing achilles injury and together with Sale Sharks it has been agreed that the 31-year-old will not tour with England this summer.”

Borthwick said: “Naturally we are disappointed that George won’t be with us in Japan and New Zealand. But following specialist medical advice, and in consultation with George himself, we have decided this is the best course of action.

“George is a big part of the England team and is an excellent professional who I know will rehab diligently to ensure he gets himself right as soon as he can.”


The non-availability of Ford is offset by an assurance that Fin Smith, who missed the closing stage of Saturday’s Gallagher Premiership win for Northampton, will be fit to travel. He came off in the final in the 70th minute with cramp.

However, England will still need to pick a third out-half unless Borthwick decides to only travel with the Smiths and ask full-back George Furbank to provide additional cover at No10. He finished the Premiership final playing at out-half after Smith limped off.


England begin their tour with a game in Tokyo on June 22 which will be shown live and for free on RugbyPass TV. A two-match series versus the All Blacks in Dunedin and Auckland will follow on July 6 and 13.



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Anthony 13 days ago

Unfortunately people keep rolling out the same old comments about Marcus Smith . Did you not watch the Bordeaux game , or Toulouse. He was fantastic. Scored a try against world class defence . 11 tries in all in the season. Ford scored nil tries, zero , zilch all season For anyone. . .
Thats a minimum of 55 points Smith contributed or 77 if all converted .
When you need to win the game utterly nobody would put money on Ford taking the ball and going for it . The last 10 mins of the Sale v Bath was a great example. knocked on passes from poor distribution , and one utterly dreadful hospital pass to his centre when the defence was about to hit him.
Yes, as long as the forwards are on top he can be wonderful, but with so many teams all roughly similar when anyone can beat you , he just cannot stand up and take the game in the way Marcus can , Or Fin . Or Owen , Or Fin Russell.
We have all cried for a change in the way England play. Now we will see the difference with a genuine attacking 10 whoever Borthwick selects.

Anthony 16 days ago

While wishing ford a successful recovery at least Borthwick will now Have to play one of the Smiths for a full game .
Marcus rejuvenated the England attack when ford was taken off against Ireland . To me it was a defining moment when he s ored the winning points .
Argument over. It was there for all to see . The cheer when Marcus came on said everything .
Both Smiths are the future . Dont think we will see ford again now .

finn 16 days ago

This is a really massive shame, but we should be fine without a 3rd specialist 10.

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Mzilikazi 2 hours ago
Is Ireland versus South Africa a battle for the title of ‘world champions’?

Very good article, Nic, and I find agreement with what you write virtually 100%. I think this two mach series has increasingly become one which will be very difficult for Ireland to win. After the first game of the last 6N, I would have been very full of confidence taking on the Boks in SA. France beaten by a big margin in France, it looked as if Ireland had emerged in fine form from the World Cup, despite the very narrow loss to the AB’s. But after that game, a slide began, ending with the defeat to England. Ireland were very fortunate to win this years 6N ! And as you so fully expose, this has not been a good season for Leinster, or indeed, in my view, for any Irish province. The Leinster loos to the Bulls, and then Munster letting a glorious chance slip to the Glasgow Warriors down at Thomond. Man, that one will really hurt. And both Connacht and Ulster have at times looked very poor this seaso, bith heavily beaten on occassion. The loss of both Gibson Park and Keenan are huge blows, especially Gibson Park. And there is really only one clear class 10 in the touring party, Jack Crowley, and he is still a very young player learning his trade. If he goes down, heaven help Ireland. And in my view, Ireland do not have a good scrummaging front row, SA do, and in great depth too. But despite all this doom and gloom, I always believe my team can win. Not that they will win, just can ! Ireland will still field what is the best and most talented team overall that I have seen in my lifetime. But the coaching group will really have to step up, no awful decisions like the one made against the AB’s in the QF….keeping the totally spent and poorly performing(on the day) Sexton on for the full 80mins, leaving Crowley on the sidelines. Ireland should never have lost that game !

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Shaylen 5 hours ago
Is Ireland versus South Africa a battle for the title of ‘world champions’?

Ireland have all the tools required to hurt SA. They develop quick ball, hold onto the ball for long periods, stretch the game when its on, have powerful mobile forwards, a good kicking game and they can hold their own in the scrum. They also can force turnovers regularly and in general do well at the breakdown. When Munster, the Ospreys and Glasgow all won games in SA this year against the Bulls and Stormers they did just that and won. It is also the reason why Ireland won the game at the world cup last year. The problem for Ireland is that SA have all the tools required to hurt them as well and hurt them a great deal more than England did in the Six Nations. They are physical and powerful at the set piece, they rush up and counter the Irish attacking system and they can really attack the breakdown and slow your ball down. Their counterattacking threat is also a big weapon and they score many tries from turnover turning defence into offence in a second. Toulouse and the Bulls nailed Leinster in this way and Glasgow did the same thing to Munster. So the series will be really interesting because both sides are so good at countering each other. Interested to see what kind of surprises Tony Brown springs and how the SA game develops. Feel like SA have more potential to surprise Ireland but then a new coaching set up as well as the fact that Japanese and foreign based players tend to take about 5 to 6 weeks to get up to speed might work in Irelands favour. SA have shipped at least one game in 4 of the last 5 June/July test windows going back to 2018 for this exact reason.

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