How soon is now? Ford’s fight with the Smiths for England No 10 spot

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With younger fly-halves nipping at his heels, George Ford is determined to drive his team to greater heights against Wales

There may be names printed on players’ shirts nowadays but the No 10 jersey still has a special resonance when England play Wales at rugby union. For better or worse, the occupants carry a greater weight of national expectation than anyone else. It is not just Welsh fly-halves who operate in the shadow of former legends and feel history’s hoary hand upon their shoulders.

George Ford is a prime example. This will be his 93rd cap for England but, even now, there is a faint sense of him striving to cement a regular starting place. It has been ever thus: after his World Cup drop goal masterclass against Argentina last year he was swiftly ousted by the returning Owen Farrell while the Smiths, Marcus and Fin, are now nipping at his heels. As the Sale pivot murmured this week: “Maybe I should have played scrum-half.”

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Written by Robert Kitson
This news first appeared on https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2024/feb/09/george-ford-england-six-nations under the title “How soon is now? Ford’s fight with the Smiths for England No 10 spot”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.