George Ford (rugby union)
|Birth name||George Thomas Ford|
|Date of birth||16 March 1993|
|Place of birth||Oldham, England|
|Height||1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)|
|Weight||86 kg (13 st 8 lb; 190 lb)|
St George's School, Harpenden
|Notable relative(s)||Mike Ford (father)
Joe Ford (brother)
Jacob Ford (brother)
|Rugby union career|
His brother Joe plays for Leicester Tigers and his younger brother Jacob is Director of Rugby at George's former school, Rishworth. Born in Oldham, Greater Manchester he is the son of former Bath Rugby head coach and former Rugby League legend Mike Ford. George played rugby league from 5 and as a young teenager played in the academies at both Wigan Warriors and Bradford Bulls. He started playing rugby union age 11 at Rishworth School and playing for Leeds Carnegie, before eventually joining Leicester at the age of 16 and subsequently signed professional forms with them. He played for England Under 18s at just 15 years of age.
In December 2009, he was nominated for the BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year. In October 2011, he became the first Englishman to win the title of IRB Junior Player of the Year, and also became the youngest-ever winner of the award.
On 8 November 2009, he became the youngest Rugby Union player to make his professional debut in England at just 16 years and 237 days old when Leicester played Leeds in the LV= Cup. His debut was doubly notable as his brother Joe was also starting at fly-half for Leeds Carnegie that day.
On 27 November 2010 he made his Premiership debut, coming off the bench in a 44–19 victory over Newcastle Falcons. In September 2011, he made his first Premiership start in a 30–28 defeat to Exeter Chiefs. In January 2012, he was loaned out to Leeds Carnegie for a short period, but returned to make his Heineken Cup debut, scoring his first Leicester try in the defeat of Aironi.
On 18 March 2012 - two days after his 19th birthday - he won his first trophy for Leicester. He started in the LV= Cup semi-finals and final, winning Man of the Match in Leicester's semi-final win over Bath  and scoring 16 points in the final as Tigers triumphed over local rivals Northampton Saints.
On 12 May 2012, he put in another Man of the Match performance in a semi-final. A late replacement for the injured Toby Flood, he guided Leicester Tigers to the Premiership final, with a 14-point haul in the 24–15 semi-final victory over Saracens. He retained the starting spot for the final, but his 13-point haul with the boot was not enough as Leicester lost out 30–23 to Harlequins.
In January 2013, it was announced that he would be leaving Leicester Tigers at the end of the season to join Bath Rugby, where his father Mike Ford was head coach. Despite this, he continued to play a full part in Leicester Tigers' season, which culminated in the club's tenth Premiership title. Ford came off the bench in the first half of the Premiership final to replace the injured Toby Flood, and scored 12 points in Leicester's 37–17 win over Northampton Saints.
In all, Ford played 40 matches for Leicester Tigers, scoring 253 points and winning two trophies.
On 23 January 2013 it was announced that he was to leave Tigers at the end of the season, to join Bath Rugby. After his father Mike was sacked as head coach, Ford was linked with a move away from the club and in December 2016 Sale Sharks Director of Rugby Steve Diamond confirmed his interest in Ford.
Return to Leicester
Ford started playing for England U18s when he was 15 years old. He later became captain of the team. Ford was a regular in the successful England U18 side from 2008 to 2010. He was first selected for the 2008 end-of-season tour to Argentina at the age of just 15, and was first choice fly-half for the 2009 & 2010 Six Nations and for the 2009 tour to South Africa. He missed the 2010 tour to South Africa due to club commitments and in his absence the team's 3-year, 25-game winning run came to an end with a 23–17 defeat to the hosts.
At the start of the 2010–11 season, still aged just 17, Ford was called into the England U20 squad for the 2011 campaign. He made his debut at fly-half in the opening U20 Six Nations game against Wales, scoring six points in England's 26-20 victory. He went on to start every game in the tournament, winning Man of the Match awards in the victories over France, Scotland and Ireland as England won the Grand Slam.
Despite being the youngest player competing at the 2011 U20 Junior World Cup, he remained first-choice fly-half as England finished in second place following victories over Ireland, Scotland, South Africa and France. The 33-22 loss to New Zealand in the final was the first time that Ford had tasted defeat with an England team since March 2008, when he was playing for the U16s. Such was the standard of his performances, however, that he won the IRB Junior Player of the Year award, beating New Zealanders Sam Cane and Luke Whitelock who were also shortlisted.
In 2012, Ford was made captain of the U20 side, and led England to an impressive 59-3 victory over Scotland in their opening Six Nations match. However, due to club commitments, that was the only match he played in the 2012 Six Nations. George Ford was also left out of the squad for the 2012 Junior Rugby world cup in order to have a full pre-season programme with Leicester.
Despite still being eligible for the U20s in 2013, Ford was instead promoted into the England Saxons when the Elite Player Squad was named at the start of the 2012–13 season.
Ford made his England debut as a replacement against Wales in the 2014 Six Nations Championship. He made a 10-minute performance against Italy, and made a good break to set up a try for Chris Robshaw. On 6 February 2015, he was man-of-the-match in England's win over Wales in the opening match of the 2015 Six Nations Championship. He helped England to second place in the championship, contributing 2 tries and 75 points, and also hauling 25 points in England's thrilling 55–35 win over France.
Ford was named in Stuart Lancaster's 31-man squad for the 2015 Rugby World Cup. He was picked to start in the tournament opener against Fiji as England won 35-11, however, one week later, Ford was dropped in favour of childhood friend Owen Farrell.
England were subsequently knocked out in the group stage, becoming the first host nation to fail to qualify for the knock-out rounds of their own tournament.
Following the departure of Head Coach Stuart Lancaster, Ford was selected in new coach Eddie Jones' 31 man squad. He started every match as Fly-Half in the 2016 Six Nations Championship, helping England secure their first Grand Slam win for the first time since 2003.
Ford was subsequently selected to embark on England's victorious 2016 summer tour of Australia, starting two of the test matches at Fly-Half.
Ford missed out on the 2017 Lions tour and went to Argentina with a severely depleted England team. He was instrumental in the 0-2 test series win.
Since the arrival of Eddie Jones as coach Ford has played every game at 10 and Owen Farrell has been moved to 12. Ford has played 21 games at 10 under Jones and played 10 before his arrival. With Ford at 10 England have won 28 from 31 games. Including a world equalling best of 18 games in a row. With Ford at 10 England have a win ratio of 90.32 % and have scored 102 tries an average of 3.29 per games.
|1||Scotland||London, England||Twickenham Stadium||2015 Six Nations||14 March 2015||Win||25 – 13 |
|2||France||London, England||Twickenham Stadium||2015 Six Nations||21 March 2015||Win||55 - 35 |
|3||Italy||Rome, Italy||Stadio Olimpico||2016 Six Nations||14 February 2016||Win||40 - 9 |
|4||South Africa||London, England||Twickenham Stadium||2016 Autumn international||12 November 2016||Win||37 - 21 |
|5||Argentina||San Juan, Argentina||Estadio San Juan del Bicentenario||2017 Summer Tour||10 June 2017||Win||38 - 34|
|6||Italy||Rome, Italy||Stadio Olimpico||2018 Six Nations||4 February 2017||Win||46-15|
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- Twickenham, Tom Fordyce Chief sports writer at. "Rugby World Cup 2015: England 35-11 Fiji". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2016-07-18.
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- "Six Nations 2015: England 55-35 France". BBC Sport. 21 March 2015.
- "Six Nations 2016: Italy 9-40 England". BBC Sport. 14 February 2016.
- "Autumn international: England 37-21 South Africa". BBC Sport. 12 November 2016.
- "Six Nations: Italy 15-46 England". BBC Sport. 2018-02-04. Retrieved 2018-02-04.
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