Bath Rugby target George Ford backed for international stardom by Tigers colleague
Toby Flood believes Bath Rugby will be gaining the services of an international-class fly-half if club-mate George Ford makes his expected summer switch to The Rec.
Ford has long been recognised as one English rugby’s brightest emerging talents and made his Leicester Tigers debut at the age of only 16 before going on to win the IRB Junior Player of the Year award in 2011.
But despite his talent, Ford has found first XV opportunities at Welford Road few and far between due to the form of the more senior Flood.
His contract expires in the summer and he has turned down the chance to extend it, with Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill fully expecting the starlet to link up with dad Mike, who is a coach at Bath.
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“The world is at that guy’s feet,” said Flood, who is representing the England team for Marriott Hotels & Resorts, Official partner of the RFU. “Whatever he wants to do and however he wants to play he has the ability to go and do anything he wants.
“It is shame to see him go and I wish he was staying with the club. He is a good guy to have around first and foremost. Obviously he is an incredibly driven guy and that is what people want to see and it is a shame to see him move on.
“For me I am really disappointed about that. I enjoyed his company as a bloke and I really enjoyed playing with him.
“But these things happen for whatever reason and I wish him all the best but he doesn’t really need it as his talent will speak for itself.
“I can understand the reasons why he has gone and I think he has a lot to give the game.
If he gets regular game time then that will obviously make him a better player, as that is the same for everyone.”
Ford missed out on a call-up for England’s Six Nations squad but shone for the second-string Saxons against the Irish Wolfhounds and Scotland A.
“He showed once again what a talent he is not just for Leicester but for the Saxons against the Wolfhounds and Scotland A and I have no doubt that he will be pushing for senior honours sooner rather than later,” Flood added.
“So while he might not be at Leicester he will continue to fight me for a shirt, just with England in the future.”
Toby Flood is representing the England team for Marriott Hotels & Resorts, Official partner of the RFU. Marriott Hotels & Resorts is giving away a two night break in Europe every time England score a try in the RBS 6 Nations. Go to Facebook.com/MarriottHotelsUK for more details.