England will think on their feet at World Cup

George Ford has committed to future to Bath

Flyhalf George Ford says that the England coaches have been training the backs
to think on their feet in the Rugby World Cup and to take opportunities when
they come.

Traditionally, England have tended to prefer a forward-based game backed up
by a kicking No 10 who can help the pack maintain good field position deep into
the opposition half.

But Ford was adamant the England management want players to be able to think
on their feet.

“We train so we can adapt on the run,” Ford said.

“They (the coaches) want us to be a decision-making team, they put the
onus on us in training and games to adapt to what’s in front of us.”

At 5ft 9in, Ford is a poster-boy for rugby’s longstanding boast that is a game
for all shapes and sizes — a claim that at the professional level becomes increasingly
hard to justify in an era of seemingly ever taller and heavier players.

“Obviously I am smaller than most lads on the pitch but I don’t
feel threatened by it,” said Ford.

“There are other areas of the game other than being big and powerful.
There is the mental side of it, being a bit smarter, a bit cleverer, being a
bit quicker, having a feel (for the game).

“I do get asked that question a lot. When little lads come up to me and
say ‘you’re not very big’ and they are usually bigger than me. I tell
them not to worry about it and make sure that they can kick the ball.”

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