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BATH RUGBY: Game time will develop George
BATH coach Mike Ford believes son George’s decision to swap life with Leicester for a move to the west country can help kickstart a career that had stalled with the Premiership champions.
Ford junior made a promising start to his Bath career with 11 points in the opening Aviva Premiership win at Newcastle last weekend and is in line to face the club he left in the summer at the Rec tomorrow (3.15pm).
The decision for Ford to move away from the Tigers was questioned by the Midlands club’s director for rugby Richard Cockerill, but his father says it was the right one for the former IRB Young Player of the Year’s longer-term development.
“I was a bit worried when George made his decision but I thought Leicester were very good to him.
“You need to kick every week under pressure and go through decisions and he needs to review it with his coach, what decisions did he make and why did he make them and what can he do otherwise.
“You need to be going through those decisions constantly and he wasn’t (at Leicester).
“If he’d had the opportunity to play week in week out he would have pushed certain individuals. It was tough for Leicester because they had Floody (Toby Flood) who is the England fly-half, but I think he’s got a good opportunity now to play more regularly than he has done.
“There’s been a lot of talk about him and I think he just thinks he’d rather prove himself. I just want him to get back to where I know he can be. That’s giving him an environment where he can get back to do what he does best. He needs to play and be happy and know he’s developing.’’
Ford senior, who should have Kyle Eastmond available despite the centre leaving the field against Newcastle with a knee injury, has described this weekend’s encounter with the reigning champions as “our true test.’’
He added: “They’re the benchmark aren’t they? They’re not going to be too far away (from the title). We’re up against a great pack on Saturday, an experienced pack so that will be our true test.
“They’re physical, direct and have got some smart footballers in there as well."
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