Ford warned about move to France

Date published: November 1 2016

BATH, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 17:  George Ford, Captain Bath Rugby in action during the Aviva Premiership match between Bath Rugby and Worcester Warriors at Recreation Ground on September 17, 2016 in Bath, England.  (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

Eddie Jones has told George Ford that joining his father Mike at Toulon would mean the end of his England career.

The French giants recently appointed Mike Ford as their head coach after sacking Diego Dominguez and reports suggest they are interested in the services of Bath fly-half Ford.

Jones said any player who signed for a club in France would be throwing away their England career as he will only pick players who ply their trade in England.

Jones plans to sit down with Ford during England’s warm-weather training camp in the Algarve and will remind him that anyone swapping the Premiership for the Top 14 will not be picked.

“We don’t want to lose George but ultimately he’s got to make a decision,” said Jones. “It’s an easy choice: you either sign for an English club or a French club. If you sign for a French club, you don’t play for England. I want players who want to play for England. If he doesn’t want to play for England, so be it.”

Jones said he supports the Rugby Football Union’s stance on the issue and believes it would cause the English game serious problems if he were to make any exceptions.

“I think it’s 100% right. It protects English rugby for the long term. You’ve only got to look at what’s happened in France, where foreign players have been allowed to escalate to over 50-60%, and you have massive problems for the national game. You take some short-term pain for the long-term gain. This is not an Englishman talking. For the long-term future of the game we need to look after the Premiership,” he said.

“To be the number one team in the world we need players with the absolute desire to play for England. So there’s no choice here. If you want to play for England, you play for an English club. There’s no more discussion.”

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