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BATH RUGBY: By George, it's going to be tough
HE may have swapped life at the Premiership champions for the prospect of regular rugby – but George Ford knows he faces enough of a battle just to make the club number 10 shirt his own.
The 2011 IRB Young Player of the Year raised a few eyebrows with his move from Welford Road to join father Mike – Bath’s first-team coach – not least among Tigers’ director of rugby Richard Cockerill, who bemoaned the loss of such a promising talent.
But the 20-year-old had no such doubts, although he knows securing the game time he craves will be no easy task.
With Scotland youngster Tom Heathcote already in situ and Wales and British Lions star Gavin Henson and England U20 ace Ollie Devoto also in the mix, Ford knows the competition is fierce.
“I’ve got to train and play well – I’m under no illusions about that, but hopefully if I do that I can get a run of games and that will be the next step in my career, he told the Wiltshire Times.
“If you look at the position I play you’ve got Tom (Heathcote) whose been here and done things in the last couple of years and obviously Gav and Ollie.
“Training has been tough. Everyone has been on to each other and pushing each other.
“It can only get the best out of players doing that.
“I’ve played with Tom at age group stuff and he’s a great player.
“He’s playing for Scotland now which is unbelievable for a guy of his age and it’s going to be a tough competition to get that shirt.’’ Ford concedes many will have been surprised by his decision to swap life with the 10-time Premiership winners and perennial Heineken Cup contenders for a future, however promising, at the Rec.
“It was the toughest decision I’ve had to make in my career, even though it’s not be that long,’’ he added.
“To leave a club that has been consistent in grand finals for the last eight or nine years and consistently up there in the Heineken was really tough because that’s where you want to be playing.
“But I just felt at this time of my career I just needed to give myself the best chance to play more games and felt that opportunity was here.
“As soon as I made the decision I fully backed it. It was 100 per cent the right decision.
“Over the summer I’ve learned a lot already and improved as a player so I just want to put that into games now.
“I’m enjoying it. It’s been tough like every pre-season is but the lads, coaches and people around the club have been great.
“It’s a very ambitious club, with a great fan base and facilities and the young English lads they had here already and they have been recruiting is very exciting and it wasn’t too hard a decision.’’
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