England need Farrell and Ford – Wilko

Date published: June 14 2015

Former England fly-half Jonny Wilkinson believes George Ford and Owen Farrell will both play crucial roles at the World Cup.

Bath pivot Ford made his England debut in the 2014 Six Nations before starting each of their five clashes in this year's Championship.

Farrell, on the other hand, endured an injury-hit season but finished it in style, squaring off against Ford in the Premiership final last month and guiding Saracens to victory.

And Wilkinson, who played 91 times for England and amassed 1,179 points, expects a close battle between the two fly-halves at the World Cup on home soil later this year.

"What a great way to finish the season with the two guys squaring off in the Premiership Final," he told the Six Nations' official website.

"It was great that it finished the way it did for Farrell, because you can't underestimate how difficult, emotionally and mentally, it is to deal with having a long-term injury and see someone come in and play as well as Ford did for England.

"For Farrell the question was: 'What do I do about it? I am going to take all the pressure and come back strong'.

"Owen has that sturdiness that brings confidence to the boys around him, but George has got those subtle touches that show he is aware how to play different situations.

"I don't know if it is a horses for courses affair in terms of the World Cup but they are both going to feature. It may come down to which team we are playing."