Planet Rugby

Ford ready for family battle

03rd October 2013 13:19

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Family affair: Joe Ford

Sale Sharks number ten Joe Ford is ready for a family affair on Friday night when brother George and father Mike visit with Bath.

The West Country outfit have started the new season well, beating both Leicester and London Irish at The Rec, travelling to Sale in fourth place.

Sale have also started the season brightly however after winning two of their opening matches, including a surprise success away at Gloucester.

The Sharks struggled for much of last season in the relegation zone but are eager to put the bad times behind them.

Preparing to face off against his brother George, the IRB Young Player of the Year, Joe admits the game will hold extra importance for him.

"It's a big game anyway for us but especially so with my dad and brother being such important figures for Bath," Ford told the Manchester Evening News.

"As soon as I arrived here, the Bath fixture was the first one that I looked out for.

"There's not been too much banter flying around between us this week. It's a serious game for all of us and though there have been a few texts we've kept it at that.

"They have started really well and they are looking like a top four side at the moment but if we want to get where we want to be its a game we've got to win.

"People always ask me 'Don't you find it hard with who your brother is?' but I want George to do well almost as much as me - as that's how close we are. Ironically, George and I made our debuts against each other when he was a 16-year-old at Leicester and I was at Leeds in the LV Cup.

"We've also met a couple of times in the A team but if we come up against each other it will be the biggest game we've played in.

"We've known all along how good he is and that's why he got frustrated at Leicester and I think he's started to show now what he's about and hopefully England will take note of him.

"But he won't get carried away as he's the most grounded person you could wish to meet.

"This Friday is also a bit of a tough one for my dad and this week, for sure, he won't be giving me any tips.

"He saw us at the Gloucester game at the start of the season and he's given me a few pointers - but he won't be my Dad on Friday night, he'll be the opposition coach!"

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