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Ford relishing competition for his England No 10 shirt

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George Ford has long been laud for the verve of his game, for his skipping pace and impudent tendencies, but as he fights to establish himself on the international stage he is also showing a defensive resilience that belies his slender frame

George Ford has long been laud for the verve of his game, for his skipping pace and impudent tendencies, but as he fights to establish himself on the international stage he is also showing a defensive resilience that belies his slender frame

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George Ford has long been laud for the verve of his game, for his skipping pace and impudent tendencies, but as he fights to establish himself on the international stage he is also showing a defensive resilience that belies his slender frame

George Ford is refusing to relinquish an inch in his battle to keep hold of the England No 10 shirt, no matter if it is Owen Farrell, Stephen Myler or Danny Cipriani trying to take it off him.

Ford has long been lauded for the verve of his game, for his skipping pace and impudent tendencies, but as he fights to establish himself on the international stage he is also showing a defensive resilience that belies his slender frame.

Coach Stuart Lancaster confirmed in midweek that Farrell sees himself, as do England, primarily as a fly-half and not as an inside-centre. The more the merrier is how Ford sees it.

"Any competition just makes you hungrier to get better yourself," said Ford. "Of course, you want to take on that challenge, because it makes you push yourself harder.

"We can bounce things off each other, help each other raise standards."

There is little doubt that Ford already looks the part as an England No 10. Of course, Farrell and other hopefuls will have other ideas on that front. He appears at ease in his surroundings, as if this is where he is meant to conduct his business.

There have always been concerns about his build, that players such as Wales centre Jamie Roberts will have him in their sights in a fortnight's time, looking to smash him out of the way. That is as maybe, but All Black fly-half Aaron Cruden is a relative lightweight, so too South African Pat Lambie, both of whom have tormented England over the last six months.

"I do feel more assured as a player these days, if for no other reason than getting lots of game time under my belt," said Ford.

"Starting those two games for England was brilliant. I took a huge amount out of it. As a fly-half, there is nothing better than being out there in the thick of it, making decisions on the hoof. Of course, I'd love to continue to be involved." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Telegraph.co.uk