England rugby union star George Ford is relishing taking over Owen Farrell’s responsibilities while he is away on duty with the British and Irish Lions


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‘It’ll be hostile’

The 24-year-old is ready to be his country’s general when they face Argentina in what will be an inexperienced squad to face the Pumas

GEORGE FORD is ready to be England’s general in Argentina as they adapt to life without Lions star Owen Farrell.

Fly-half Ford will be without vice-captain Farrell on his shoulder for next month’s two-match Test series against the Pumas as the Saracens man heads off to New Zealand.

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George Ford has not been called up to the British and Irish Lions squad in the upcoming tour in New Zealand

The double-header has been given added edge with this month’s World Cup draw for Japan 2019 seeing the two rivals end up in the same group.

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And Ford is pumped to take over kicking responsibilities and having full say on pulling the strings in what will be a largely inexperienced attack that boss Eddie Jones will have to patch together.

Without five key backs Ford, 24, said: “It’s good to play with different people and come up with different ways of trying to break teams down as well as defending and kicking.

“We want to keep moving our game. Eddie has challenged me to keep improving our attack and try to ask more questions of the opposition and be more dangerous.

“We definitely have good enough players to go over there and get results, regardless of who is available.

George Ford is relishing the opportunity to take over Owen Farrell’s responsibilities


George Ford is relishing the opportunity to take over Owen Farrell’s responsibilities

The 24-year-old is hoping to shine under Eddie Jones against Argentina in an inexperienced squad

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The 24-year-old is hoping to shine under Eddie Jones against Argentina in an inexperienced squad

“We are trying to get better as a team to go to Argentina and win 2-0. I’m trying to make myself a better player and be part of a great England team that can go to the World Cup in 2019 and try to win it.

“The strength in depth in England is unbelievable and the competition for places brilliant so I fully believe we can go over there and get two really good results.

“The one thing, playing with Argentinian players as well, and against them, they’re so passionate about the game that that’s the type of game you’re going to come up against.

“The fans are just a passionate and emotional as the players are, it’ll be hostile. On the pitch they’ll be physical, they get into you and they pride themselves on being physical, so it’s something we’ve got to be excited about and take that challenge front on.”

England face the Barbarians at Twickenham on Sunday and then as soon as Ford gets back from Argentina he will switch his attentions to helping turn Leicester Tigers into a force to be reckoned with again.

British and Irish Lions begin training for the summer rugby tour to New Zealand

Leaving Bath for a return to Welfrod Road will also see Ford reunited with scrum-half Ben Youngs and centre Manu Tuilagi – as well as new teammates Matt Toomua and JP Pietersen.

Ford added: “I had a great four years at Bath. I suppose that chapter of my career is over now.

“I’m looking forward to rejoining Leicester and hopefully be part of a team that can really challenge and win trophies again because I know that’s what the club to do and as a player that’s what you want. You want to be part of a successful team.

“It’s weird really. The season ended so quickly I don’t suppose it will be after the summer tour to Argentina that I properly get my head around moving to Leicester.”

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