George Ford set to miss England tour to NZ

george ford

England’s injury troubles have worsened with the news that George Ford will require surgery on an injured shoulder. The Bath fly-half will go under the knife next week, after his club’s Amlin Cup Final clash with Northampton Saints, and will likely miss the entirety of the three-game New Zealand tour.

It is a cruel blow to England, who are already without Owen Farrell and Stephen Myler for the first test due to their participation in the Aviva Premiership final. It leaves their fly half resources worryingly thin on the ground – Danny Cipriani, Freddie Burns and Henry Slade are the three playmakers that have been named in the England squads so far, but each has their pitfalls.

Cipriani has only recently been reintegrated back into the England set-up after six years in the wilderness – doubts remain over whether Lancaster truly trusts him – while Burns has been woefully out of form this season and Slade is extremely raw. The other option would be to deploy someone like Billy Twelvetrees or Alex Goode at fly-half, but that would be equally as risky given their lack of game time in the position at the top level.

It is the latest in a long list of blows to Lancaster and his team ahead of the New Zealand tour. As well as missing a handful of players to the Aviva Premiership final, there are injury worries at hooker, tighthead and centre.

Who do you think should start at fly-half for the first test in Ford’s stead? Leave your thoughts below.

Photo by: Patrick Khachfe / Onside Images

10 thoughts on “George Ford set to miss England tour to NZ

  1. Just came onto the site to check the news.. this is not what I wanted or expected to see!
    Looks like Cipriani to start for me.

  2. Plead with Charlie Hodgson to “unretire” Sarries look an even better side when he is playing 10

  3. Cipriani or Burns for me. Cipriani’s added experience of playing in that part of the world might help, and is in better form than Burns.

    Interestingly, both of them really have nothing to lose, but a big performance from either of them will probably give them the bench spot in the subsequent tests (on the basis that Myler doesn’t offer much from the bench). If they were able to return from NZ having really put down a marker, they could really start to ask some questions going into the WC.

  4. Playing Twelvetrees at 10 would give us a problem at 12 with Burrell out of the first test.

    Goode will join the squad for the second test, same time as Farrell, so no point using Goode there.

    I’d be tempted to go with Burns with Cipriani on the bench. A change of scenery from Gloucester (where his form is terrible) may see an upturn in form, he’s got an established partnership with Twelvetrees and has probably at least trained with Care before this week. He’s also been in the squad for the last couple of years so should know the calls and patterns better.

    No gauruntee he plays well, and should he have a shocker of a first 40, Cipriani can come on at halftime and show what he’s got.

  5. I’m sorry I don’t get how he can 0 lay for his club but not his country. Either he needs the op so urgently then he should be unavailable now or just wait a month and have it after the tour?

    Surely it has to be Cipriani? Burns has no form to speak of.

  6. Was eagerly anticipating seeing how he faired, real shame. Hope it’s a decision that’s been reached jointly between club and country.

    I’d definitely go with Cipriani and maybe Burns on the bench if he’s training OK.

  7. Oh great now we will never know how good Ford will be in the International Stage. Burns must be angry at himself right now with his lost of form. Not so sure we should give Burns ahead start. From what i remember from the Saxons. Maybe from the bench at the last 10mins.

  8. This is a real shame, both for England and for Ford.

    For me Cipriani has to start. He’s shown good consistent form all season, and if anything has got better as the seasons gone on. Burns should consider himself lucky to get on the bench, as his form has been poor. Of course this was probably due to being out of sorts with his club, and the clubs poor form. It does give Slade a massive chance though, and he again has shown good form this season.

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