Tigers boss lavishes praise on ‘very sharp’ George Ford

Planet Rugby

Leicester Tigers fly-half George Ford has been praised by head coach Steve Borthwick after he helped orchestrate the team’s 48-3 win over Worcester Warriors.

The Premiership pace-setters’ fifth straight victory this season has taken them seven points clear of second-placed Harlequins, who lost to Sale on Friday.

It also confirmed the Tigers’ best start to a Premiership campaign since the competition began 24 years ago.

Leicester fly-half Ford, who has won 77 caps, was left out of England head coach Eddie Jones’ recent training squad.

Impressive form

But he has maintained impressive form ahead of Jones naming his playing group on Monday for the Autumn Nations Series that features Twickenham appointments with Tonga, Australia and South Africa.

“George did everything good today,” Borthwick said. “He pulled the strings and was very, very good.

“Whether he is in the England squad is not my call, but he looked very sharp.

“I want to help my players to be the best they can be and help their aspirations.”

The Tigers were home and dry by the interval following tries for wing Harry Potter, centre Matias Moroni and hooker Julian Montoya, leaving Worcester reeling.

Former England scrum-half Richard Wigglesworth scored a bonus-point try midway through the second period, before hooker Nic Dolly claimed his fifth try of the season as Leicester ensured no let-up during the closing minutes, then wing Nemani Nadolo powered over, substitute Freddie Burns crossed and Burns added two conversions.

Ford finished with nine points from three conversions and a penalty, and Borthwick added: “We still have things to improve on and fix.

“We have Sale next, and they looked really good against Harlequins on Friday, so that will be a big challenge.

“I try to keep it simple in my own mind. I take lessons from this game, and as soon as the final whistle goes I am looking at Sale next week.

“I’ve said to the players to enjoy this win, they worked very hard, recover well tomorrow and then think of Sale.”

Worcester, beaten 42-5 by Exeter last weekend, were once again on the end of a major drubbing as they slumped to a fourth Premiership defeat on the bounce.

Fly-half Billy Searle contributed their only points through a first-half penalty, and Leicester cut loose during the second period, scoring four tries during the final 22 minutes.

And life is not about to get any easier for Worcester, with their next two games being away against Northampton and at home to Sale.

Warriors head coach Jonathan Thomas said: “It’s very difficult, it is a bitter pill to swallow and to lose in that fashion is truly disappointing.

“That was probably the most complete team performance I have seen in the Premiership in a long time. They steamrollered us, and physically they dominated.

“Your emotions are probably one of embarrassment and disappointment, but we know we are not a bad team and have to work hard to put this right.

“They are at the top of this league for a reason.”

Luke Cowan-Dickie an injury concern for England

Meanwhile, England will be sweating over the fitness of Luke Cowan-Dickie after the hooker limped out of Exeter’s 27-23 win over Wasps on Saturday.

Cowan-Dickie rolled his left ankle in the Coventry clash, with England head coach Jones announcing his squad for the end-of-year Tests on Monday.

The front-row, who started England’s last two Six Nations matches this year and two of the Lions’ Tests in South Africa, was treated on the pitch for three minutes before leaving it unaided having landed on his left knee after a tackle and catching his ankle awkwardly.

Exeter head coach Rob Baxter said the 28-year old would have his ankle protected by a moon boot before being assessed on Monday, adding that it was too early to say whether he would be fit for England’s opener against Tonga at Twickenham next month.