Ford still hurting after defeat in Japan

GEORGE Ford admitted to still hurting from England’s defeat to South Africa in the final of the Rugby World Cup.

The 26-year-old, who was raised in Grasscroft, added it has been important not to dwell on the “massive disappointment”.

“I have had to make sure there has been no hangover because as soon as I returned home it was back to Leicester Tigers for their Gallagher Premiership campaign and there is also the Six Nations not far away,” he explained.

George Ford in action (Picture by David Rogers RFU via Getty Images)

“I have tried to move on as quickly as possible, but obviously you think what might have been. Unfortunately, we didn’t quite get over the final hurdle.”

George described having an “unbelievable time” in Japan who has added were perfect hosts for the World Cup.

Since returning home, George’s priority has been to help Tigers in their battle against relegation from the Premiership.

Tigers, once the country’s top team, has fallen on hard times in recent years and the club finds itself second bottom.

George, whose father Mike is Tigers’ attack coach, is in his second spell at Welford Road where he began his career before moving to Bath where Mike was head coach.

“Setting aside he is my dad, he is one of the best coaches I have had,” he said.

George added the dynamics at Leicester are different to Bath as Mike is not head coach.

“At Leicester he does not have responsibility to pick the team as he is purely a coach. That makes it easier, though he has always treated me like any other player,” he continued.

But Mike said his eldest son Joe has the “bigger challenge” trying to help revive the fortunes of second-tier side Yorkshire Carnegie who are bottom of the Greene King IPA Championship and where he is player-coach.

“Carnegie were in administration last year and Joe only came in two weeks before the start of the season and had to put together a team,” explained Mike.

George, once a scholar at Wigan Warriors, and Joe began their rugby playing as juniors in the 13-player game at Saddleworth Rangers.

Former Knowsley Primary pupil George played most of his amateur rugby at Waterhead Warriors and recalled playing union on a Saturday for Rishworth School and league the next day for Warriors.

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