George Ford on England snob, playing due to injury and Leicester new grain
George Ford insists he loves rugby again despite his surprise omission from England’s last training camp, revealing he no longer playing despite pain from an Achilles injury that had hampered him for over a year.
Although the 28-year-old opener missed victories over the United States and Canada at Twickenham in July, he remains the most capped player of the Eddie Jones era.
But, having appeared in 60 of England’s 66 test games since 2016, Ford was excluded from a three-day meeting last week as Jones included Harlequins playmaker Marcus Smith alongside Owen Farrell.
After a third consecutive Premiership victory for the Leicester Tigers, Ford explained that he no longer had to “change” his training schedule to play.
“The most important thing for me is that I was carrying a problem last year and probably a little beyond too,” he said.
“The main difference has been to sort that out over the summer and to rest well, physically and mentally, and to be able to come back to the training ground and train a little more.
“I probably had to tweak things a bit last year to get to the games, which sometimes happens in your career.
“You have to have a good preseason and I had a good consistent streak at the start of this year which is exactly where I want to be.”
Ford attributed the injury to “the load and bulk and not having had much rest since 2014 or 2015”. He had an injection to relieve the inflammation “where the tendon attaches to the bone” in his left Achilles during the summer.
“I would be lying if I didn’t say it affected me, but the most important thing is that I could get to game day and play,” he added.
“It would be painful in a game but manageable. This is what I did during the week and it was the most important thing.
“You want to play your best on the weekend and keep improving. You need to train as well as you can and keep pushing him in training. This is probably where I wasn’t there to be honest with you.
Jones had been in contact with Ford over the summer and the pair spoke after the England 45-man training squad was announced.