'The new Sam Simmonds': England's latest ongoing selection snub stuns fans
England fans have hit out following the omission of star playmaker George Ford from Eddie Jones’ Six Nations squad ahead of next month’s tournament.
Since the 2019 World Cup, Jones has moved to rejuvenate his England side – which currently featured six uncapped players – by letting go of the stars that were such an integral part of their run to the final.
As such, there were no recalls for the Vunipola brothers, Billy and Mako, but many expected that on form George Ford would earn a reprieve. Jones, however, went with a 20-year-old up-and-comer.
The above names would make any other national squad IMO.
Eddie Jones’ job will come down to these type of calls.
Ford has been best 10 in rugby since Aug.
— Richie Allen (@Richie_Allen) January 18, 2022
The selection of uncapped flyhalf Orlando Bailey over the established Ford is one England fans can’t get their heads around.
Bailey is with the Premiership’s worst performing team at the bottom of the ladder with Bath, while Ford, who is still in his prime at 28-year-old, is at the top with the in-form Leicester Tigers.
Fellow flyhalf Owen Farrell, who Ford has spent forging a partnership with since their age-grade days, was instead included despite being sidelined with an injury picked up against the Wallabies two months ago.
England fans were shocked at the omission and tried to speculate online why the Tigers No 10 had not been included. One described the snub as “criminal”, and another said it “doesn’t make sense”.
The one area many fans believed Bailey had an advantage over Ford was on defence, which they attributed to the youngster’s bigger frame.
Can someone remind Eddie that George Ford is only 28 and not 33…
He’s just won Premiership Player of the Month twice!
The new Sam Simmonds…
— RugbyInsideLine (@RugbyInsideLine) January 18, 2022
The biggest shock for me today in terms of the England squad is the omission of George Ford. The Tigers fly half has looked exceptional so far this season and could easily have been a contender for the 10 jersey. Englands potential loss is certainly Leicesters gain
— MBRugby (@MbRugby) January 18, 2022
Seen a lot of Orlando Bailey vs George Ford chat, but isn’t the former’s selection more a comment on Eddie Jones’ faith in George Furbank and Max Malins to play fly-half? He clearly wants to find the best multi-position back that can cover 10 for 2023 – Ford isn’t that
— Jake Goodwill (@jakegoodwill1) January 18, 2022
Doubt anybody right now thinks Orlando Bailey is a better player than George Ford. But that’s not the point I suspect in Eddie’s mind. Smith & Farrell are his first choice fly-halves, he wants to look at other backs who can cover multiple positions and there’s no room for Ford.
— Nick Mullins (@andNickMullins) January 18, 2022
Ford no more than a speedbump on defence, Smith and Bailey are right now and the future
— HandsintheRuck (@Handsintheruck1) January 18, 2022
Best defensive 10 in the 2019 six nations and has the best defence in the prem for every 10 with more than 100 tackles. Your point?
— joe40hands (@joe40hands) January 18, 2022
Want to know what am missing here? How has Farrell got in over George Ford ??? Someone explain please
— Kian ? (@Kianshane666) January 18, 2022
No George Ford is criminal https://t.co/FGfQBvvSDN
— Henryk Smolinski (@HenrykSmolinski) January 18, 2022
George Ford Gallagher player of the month twice, just this season. Doesn’t make sense
— Rayner Wilson (@RaynerWilson1) January 18, 2022
I’m probably the biggest George Ford fan out there, but I completely understand why Ford hasn’t been picked. Evidently, Jones has a certain way he wants to play with the 10 performing a certain role that probably wouldn’t suit Ford. No point forcing him in.
— T (@__TRob__) January 18, 2022
Ford falling out of Jones’ favour comes five years after the England boss claimed that he could be “better than Beauden Barrett” back in 2016 following a big win over Fiji.
“I think George can be better than Beauden Barrett. People rave about Beauden Barrett but I don’t,” said Jones at the time.
“I just think George has got a great feel for the game. He sees opportunities. He needs to work on his running game a bit, needs to be more of a threat himself.
“He’s actually too selfless. He needs to be a bit more selfish with the ball at times. But his alignment on some of the phase ball was absolutely outstanding, the best I have seen for a long time.”
With Ford arguably the form player of the Premiership this season, fans are rightly wondering what went wrong as he looks in at the England squad in from the outside leading up to the Six Nations.
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