Poll: Should George Ford have been included in the England squad?

george ford

Stuart Lancaster has kept the faith with the squad that narrowly lost in Paris last weekend for England’s game against Scotland on Saturday, but many were calling for the inclusion of young fly-half George Ford for the Calcutta Cup clash.

With no recognised fly-half option on the bench, should an injury befall Owen Farrell either Alex Goode or Billy Twelvetrees, both of whom can play 10 but feature more regularly elsewhere, would be press-ganged into action – a risky strategy if England’s first choice were to suffer an early injury.

With tough tests to come against Ireland and Wales, this weekend’s game against Scotland seemed like the obvious chance to introduce Ford to the international rugby arena.

What do you think?

Should George Ford have been included in the England squad to play Scotland?

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Photo by: Patrick Khachfe / Onside Images

25 thoughts on “Poll: Should George Ford have been included in the England squad?

  1. In other news, lanslide results in the following surveys:

    Is the Pope catholic?

    Do bears do thier business in the woods?

    I assume the one no vote is Stuart Lancaster or Barritt/ Goode?

    1. He states that “who is he to judge gay people” and “atheists can get into the kingdom of heaven”
      If we have bears aheming outside the woods soon I’m going to wonder whether Lancaster is right!

  2. Initially I would have said yes, but actually I have changed my mind. While I’m not particularly happy with the return of Alex Goode, looking at the stats he did actually have a decent amount of threat in the second half, for all his (massive) defensive failings. His appearance so early in the France test was an abberation- had May not been so unlucky, Goode wouldn’t have come on until around the 60 minute mark if he came on at all, and by that point his lapses would have been much less destructive. On reflection I’m content with Bomber persisting with the team he picked for the France test, and giving them more time to gel together. I’m sure we’ll see some changes made to the squad over the course of the 6N, but perhaps not just yet. If Nowell and Burrell could play to the standard they did on their debut in SdF against a hungry French side, I’m content to think that Ford can do himself well in Twickers against Irish and Welsh sides which don’t yet look as lethal as they might do.

    1. Goode on for 72 minutes.

      Turned over 5 times

      Made 0 tackles

      Missed 1 tackle

      A contribution we could do without

      1. There is only one player on the England team who played in France who beat more tacklers than Goode. We can do without backs who can beat tacklers? News to me…

        1. Beating a couple of defenders and then having the ball knocked out in contact doesn’t count as a positive contribution.

          He is quite evasive and his positional play is excellent, but no pace, no power and no strength/physicality to make a tackle means you can’t play fullback (as he’s demonstrated too many times) at international level.

          1. Well yes, his positional sense is good. He was in exactly the right postion to watch Huget brush past him on the way to the second try being scored.

            As for his defenders beaten, its no good beating defenders if A, you don’t actually go forwards or B. As Matt says, promptly drop the ball

            Out of interest, who does all the tackling at Sarries seeing as both Ashton and Goode are unable to. Does Barritt run around making their tackles for them?

  3. Benjit
    Your comments made me burst out laughing!You are a very funny man.You gave me a real belly laugh.Many thanks

  4. Yes, yes, yes and YES. Every specialist position needs specialist cover. Billy Twelvetrees is not yet convincing as a centre, so should under NO circumstances be moved inside. Alex Goode looks short of true class, so again NO.

    George Ford or Freddie Burns, not fussed as long as we have proper cover!

  5. One of Ford’s strength is his kicking game (although he’s also a fine running threat), so he would be ideal for the conditions expected at Murrayfield.

  6. 12T and Alex Goode are seriously up against it now. They have to perform in the next few games or they should be out of contention for the NZ tour. England have other players ready to step in. Backs cover should have been Dickson, Watson and Ford for Saturday. Farrell / May can cover centre.

  7. Of course he should be included now. Why not now? When will be a better time to include him? What do Barritt and Goode offer over him and Watson (except experience of course, which is what Ford and Watson should be getting).
    I think the bench choice for the Scotland game must boil down to Lancaster’s insistence of having Barritt on the bench.. and as he only covers centre, Lancaster must feel less than confident about 12T or Burrell for the whole game. With Barritt on the bench he needs the one remaining bench player to cover back three and no. 10 and thinks Goode is the answer.
    It’s such a negative bench. As others have pointed out, Farrell covers 12 and May 13, so no need for Barritt on the bench. That would allow Ford to cover 10 and a proper back 3 replacement (i.e. Watson) to be included.

  8. At the beginning of this 6 nations I expressed a view that it was scary that SL was now bucking the trend of England managers and actually picking England’s best + in form players. Glad to see normal service is now resumed. Thank you SL, from a Welsh fan.

    1. Bit of an oversimplification! He’s done that in all but a few positions, it’s not like the entire squad is wrong…

    2. Yes, at least we are only discussing part of the bench and not the starting team – assuming it is the same as last week of course.

    3. Fingers crossed Gatland keeps picking Philips as well. If the ball departs the ruck with any speed or accuracy it’s going to be a much tougher contest. I feel much safer with Tipuric on the bench also.

      1. Agree with you on Phillips Matt but that’s cos our other choices are not up to much. Webb was a box kicking lunatic when he came on on Saturday.

        I wouldn’t be relaxed about Tips on the bench though. After Sam smashing seven bells out of your backrow for 50 mins Tips will come on and dance around em.

      1. Yep, I flip and flop me.

        What I meant was that his eyes must have told him that he got it wrong on Saturday – having Goode as cover on the bench was chocolate teapot time. So now surely he’d put a spare 10 on the bench?

  9. Damn. Disapointed Lancaster. Was ready to defend him for the French match, thinking they had obviously been excluded as the match was away, in Paris, with 3 new caps (well May had 1) so was probably not the best place to have two new boys on the bench as well. They will be in for Scotland. Seems I was wrong.

    However (and I am not trying to justify their exclusion- I definitely think both Ford and Watson should be on the bench) but I am assuming that maybe they just haven’t quite clicked with the team in training? Whole new structure to fit into compared to their clubs, and these are seriously raw, inexperienced guys- maybe Goode and Barritt are in there as they know all the structures, plays etc and Ford and Watson has been messing up the positional work and attacking moves? Ford especially had only had a week prior to France… Who knows, could be some reason why they aren’t in. Especially if I was was Lancaster, I wouldn’t want to play Ford before he was entirely ready- he is the future of English fly-halfs (hmm I know we have heard that before) and I want him to be able to seriously challenge for the shirt. Am I maybe clutching at straws? I still believe he will be in there at some point this 6N!

    1. If we were right at the start of a RWC cycle then don’t take any risks, but after this weekend it’s:
      – 3 6N games
      – 4 consecutive games against the ABs (3 Away)
      – South Africa
      – Samoa
      – Australia
      – 5 6N games
      – 2 or 3 RWC warm up games

      There is no ‘ideal’ time for a new player. Maybe we now have to look at Italy away as a development game (regardless of what is riding on the result).

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