ENGLAND scrum-half Danny Care admits that sometimes he just had to step back and admire George Ford’s full box of tricks following the Bath youngster’s introduction to the Red Rose.
Ford, 20, has displayed his full array of talents all season at the Rec and earned himself a call-up to England’s Six Nations squad, winning his first two caps off the bench against Wales and Italy.
Against Wales he barely had time to break into sweat but in a ten-minute cameo in Rome he showed what all the fuss is about, throwing a delicious dummy before firing a fine pass to Chris Robshaw, who went over for the simplest of tries.
Getting straight back into action the week after, Ford led London Irish a merry dance and was named man of the match in a thumping 44-23 victory for the Blue, Black and Whites.
And Care, who appears to have nailed down the England No.9 shirt, admits potential half-back partner Ford regularly leaves him dazzled.
“Just watching George in training, he settled straight into the team, he was outstanding in training and well deserved to get his first cap,” said Care, HSBC Ambassador for the Rosslyn Park Sevens.
“And he showed that again against London Irish when he got straight back into things with Bath. He plays the game the way it should be played, he’s attacking, he likes to attack the line, he’s a threat.
“And he has also got fantastic distribution so he has got every aspect to be a top player.”
With Saracens on the march towards the Premiership final and all those involved at Twickenham set to miss England’s first summer Test against New Zealand, Ford could well be in line for a first England start in Auckland should Owen Farrell be unavailable – although Bath lay considerable claims to take their place at Twickenham as well.
The Six Nations was the first time that Care and Farrell were paired together and it’s a partnership the scrum-half is relishing – almost as much as watching what he expects to be a long-term duel for the number 10 shirt between the two fly-halves, not to mention best friends.
“I’m sure he and Owen for many years will have a great battle for that shirt. They are both quality players,” added Care.
“He and Owen are two best mates so I’m sure that will be a nice friendly rivalry and a great thing for England.”
A more extreme option available to Stuart Lancaster – should Bath meet Saracens at Twickenham – would be to bring Danny Cipriani out of the wilderness, while Freddie Burns and Stephen Myler will also hope to make the trip to New Zealand.
And Care believes having such strength in depth in such a crucial position is only going to benefit England.
He added: “There’s George and there is Freddie Burns, Cipriani, all these lads would love to stake a claim for that World Cup spot.
“That’s the great thing for English rugby at the minute, there are three of four in every position. If we keep pushing each other and driving high standards, then we will keep improving and getting better and better.”
England Rugby Union and former England Sevens player, Danny Care was speaking on behalf of HSBC at the Rosslyn Park HSBC National Schools Sevens where he helped run HSBC coaching clinics for schools during the tournament. For more information visit www.rpns7.co.uk
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