Rugby

Ford backs England to improve

2017-11-15 13:05
George Ford (Getty)

London - England flyhalf George Ford says his side will be better for playing their first end-of-year Test ahead of Saturday's match with Australia. 

Although not at their fluid best, England secured a 21-8 win over Argentina in the first of three games during November. 

“If you look at it as the first game of a series there is a little bit of rustiness there but I think we’ll be better for having that game under our belt,” Ford told England Rugby.

“I think it gives a clearer picture in the areas that we need to get better this week in preparation for Australia.”

After their second place finish in the Rugby Championship, Australia have hit form recently with a win over world champions New Zealand and scored four tries in a 29-21 win in Wales on Saturday.

“They’re playing with a lot more consistency aren’t they” added the 24-year-old. 

“They’re in good form, but it is about us getting better. 

“We know we’ve got to be a lot better than we were at the weekend to get a result against Australia. 

“We’ll have a good understanding of the way Australia are playing, their main threats and the weaknesses that we can try and exploit." 

After England captain Dylan Hartley was replaced in the win over los Pumas, Ford took over leading the side in the second half. 

And although he was proud to take over leading his country, Ford said his mindset did not change given his responsibilities in the team. 

“You’re that engrossed in the game that my job is the same throughout really,” he explained.

“To try manage the game, do the right thing at the right time and get an understanding of how the game’s going. 

“You’re proud to go out and play for England anyway and you have a fair amount of responsibility as a game manager, as a fly half, so in terms of the feeling it was similar to what you’re used to. 

“What I learnt as I was growing up, and as I’ve gone up the levels, is the amount of responsibility and leadership you’ve got to have as a 10 in the week, not just the 80 minutes at the weekend, is huge these days."

Leicester Tigers team-mate Jonny May is back in full training this week and is available for selection for the game against the Wallabies. 

Ford returned to Welford Road this summer from Bath, while May joined from Gloucester and Ford hopes he can carry his club form, with seven tries in seven games, to the international stage. 

“Jonny coming to Leicester, it took a lot of time for the lads to work him out because he can come across as quite strange at first, but the lads have got a good understanding of him now and know that half of the time he’s playing up," he said. 

“He’s an athlete, he’s so quick and so strong, he knows where the try line is and you can’t take too much of that away from him as that’s what makes him the player that he is. 

“If you speak to him he says he feels like he’s learnt a fair bit more already. He’s gone into a new environment and having different coaches and different players around you, you learn off them. 

“Hopefully now that he has had that run of games and got that confidence he can transfer that into an England shirt."

Read more on:    england  |  rugby

 

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