George Ford believes he has more to offer England after omission
George Ford has revealed his disappointment at being left out of Eddie Jones’s most recent England squad but remains hopeful of extending his international career after overcoming a longstanding achilles problem which hampered him for more than a year.
Ford, 28, was among the high-profile omissions from a mini-training camp last month – all the more so given his fast start to the season with table-topping Leicester – with the 22-year-old Marcus Smith included instead.
Having also been overlooked by the British & Irish Lions last summer, Ford was at least able to resolve a nagging achilles issue and has impressed in Leicester’s three wins so far this season. Whether his early-season form warrants a swift recall this autumn – Jones is set to name his squad for the three autumn Tests against Tonga, Australia and South Africa on 18 October – remains to be seen but Ford is clear his best years are ahead of him.
He said: “I spoke to Eddie. I was obviously disappointed – for any England camp, you want to be involved. I’ve just got to look after my job and do it as well as I can, and hopefully good things will come off the back of that.
“The biggest thing for me is that I was carrying a niggle for last year and probably a little bit beyond that as well. The main difference has been sorting that out over the summer and having a good rest, physically and mentally and being able to get back on the training field and attack training a bit more.
“As a 10 you have seen it many times before where the guys at the top of the game are coming to the best years of their careers in and around 30 because they have got that experience and learnt so many things along the way to be one of the world’s top-class 10s so I am excited about it.”
Meanwhile, the Rugby Football Union has insisted it is working on the basis that all three autumn matches will go ahead after Samoa’s decision to cancel its northern hemisphere tour highlighted the threat still posed by the pandemic. The South African union has also insisted its tour will go ahead despite reports that the Springboks might not fulfil their fixtures if they are subjected to tight bubble restrictions.