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Ford brothers set for latest head-to-head

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: March 27, 2014

Bath fly-half George Ford could face his brother Joe on Friday night PICTURE: CLARE GREEN

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George Ford is the hottest property in English rugby right now and the man who knows him best says he was always destined for the top.

Bath fly-half Ford is set to go toe-to-toe with his older brother, Joe, at The Rec tomorrow night when Sale Sharks arrive for a crunch Aviva Premiership clash.

Having both blossomed in a rugby-mad – albeit league – household, fellow fly-half Joe, who is two-and-a-half years George's senior, says his brother's potential has shone since he first picked up a ball.

He said: "You could always tell George was going to be something special.

"I think from about the age of seven he always had to play up an age group because he was just too good and scored too many tries.

"He was never the biggest, but people just couldn't catch him and he'd end up getting about four or five a game.

"We'd always go out and practice our kicking together since he was about ten years old. What sets him apart is how hard he works.

"He's been amazing this season and in my opinion he's been the best ten in the Premiership by a mile.

"To go from not getting that much game time at Leicester to where he is now with Bath is incredible."

George has recently returned to Bath – where his father, Mike, is head coach – with two England caps to his name following the conclusion of the RBS 6 Nations.

A 60-second debut against Wales was followed by a ten-minute cameo against Italy, with George setting up the Red Rose's final try for captain Chris Robshaw.

The 21-year-old will not be resting on his laurels, though, and wants a strong finish to the season to nail down a place in Stuart Lancaster's squad for the tour to New Zealand this summer.

He said: "That experience was brilliant. I enjoyed every minute and feel like I learnt an awful lot. To get that first cap out of the way was a relief even though it was such a short period. To get ten minutes against Italy was brilliant.

"It's been great to be involved and the next step would be to start a game and put my own stamp on things.

"What Stuart impressed on us was that we need to go away and carry on playing as well as we can for our clubs to push to get on that tour. All I am focusing on is trying to play as well as I can for Bath."

First of all, George must do something that even he has struggled to achieve and get the better of his older brother. Joe currently has the family bragging rights as both played when Bath were beaten when they visited Sale in the Premiership earlier this season.

George said: "Joe and my little brother Jake are really supportive. It'll be great to play against Joe if he is involved this week.

"It's still strange, but I think it's stranger for the family watching. I think my mum sits in the crowd on edge because she doesn't know who to support. It's probably horrible for her.

"We made our debuts in the same game. It was in the LV= Cup, he was playing for Leeds and I was playing for Leicester. I think they won and he got man of the match, so that was 1-0 to him. It's happened once this year too."

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