Ford deflects praise to Farrell

Date published: November 23 2014

“Good nerves” helped England fly-half George Ford on his way to an encouraging display in their 28-9 victory over Samoa on Saturday.

England fly-half George Ford said “good nerves” had helped him on his way to an encouraging display in the 28-9 win over Samoa on Saturday.

After four caps off the bench, the 21-year-old Bath playmaker was given his first Test by England coach Stuart Lancaster, with regular number 10 Owen Farrell alongside him at inside centre.

Ford had a key role in two of England’s three tries as they ended a run of five straight defeats, and also landed five out of seven kicks for 13 points.

“It was good to get the win it was a bit scrappy in parts, especially at the end of the first half,” said Ford, who played youth rugby alongside Farrell.

“I was nervous because it was my first start for England but I think it was good nerves,” added Ford, whose coach at Bath is his father, Mike Ford.

“I just went out there and tried to play my own game and I got some really good information from Owen Farrell and Brad Barritt outside me.

“And at least two of the tries came from what they were telling me and all I had to do was execute what they were telling me,” said Ford, whose performance was watched by a crowd of more than 82,000 that included his parents.

England conclude their November campaign at home to 2015 World Cup pool rivals Australia next weekend and coach Lancaster said he now faced a difficult decision over whether to start Ford or Farrell at number 10.

“We’ve got that decision to make,” Lancaster said. “He (Ford) has put a real marker down for next week without a doubt.”

“It’s a big responsibility for a young player to come in and run a game and I thought he did it well.

“His kicking game was good, obviously given the responsibility to kick goals and for touch, he took some hits, he showed a great deal of bravery and I thought it was a really positive first (starting) game for him.”