BATH RUGBY: Fly-half Ford wary of 'class' Evans

Wiltshire Times: George Ford George Ford

BEING awarded the Aviva Premiership player of the month accolade for November is a firm indication that Bath fly-half George Ford’s star is on the rise, but the 20-year-old admits the man likely to be opposite him at the Rec tomorrow is still one of the benchmarks in English rugby.

With 111 league points to his name, Ford has been a key component to Bath’s impressive start to the season, which includes the current run of 10 matches unbeaten in all competitions, earning him a tip for international honours from former England man Austin Healey.

But if Ford needs any reminder of the need to maintain consistently high standards, he will only have to look a few yards across the Rec pitch to Harlequins playmaker Nick Evans tomorrow.

The New Zealander has scored more than 1,000 points for the Londoners and was an instrumental figure in their rise to 2012 Premiership champions as well as the European Challenge Cup the season before, the sort of level of achievement Ford aspires to.

“He’s a class player,’’ said the Bath man of Evans.

“I’ve played against him a couple of times before and he’s played really well in those games so we’ve got to be on the edge this week to look after him and Danny Care at nine as well.

“He’s a great player to watch and learn off so hopefully we can manage them this week.’’ With Quins, Northampton and Leicester looming on Bath calendar, Ford is in no doubt about the significance of the next few weeks for the club’s ambitions.

“We’re under no illusions that these next three weeks could be massive for us and define our season,’’ he added.

“We’ve taken the opportunity this week to talk about taking these three games head on and we’re going to go out and try and win all three.

“We’re on a good run of wins, but playing Mogliano – no disrespect to them – is a different class to playing the Heineken Cup which Quins, Northampton and Leicester have been playing in, so we’ve got to make sure we don’t get caught out this week and play with the intensity which is going to give us a chance of winning the game.

“Quins are in some good form. I watched them in the last two weekend and they played some great stuff so we’ve got to be on our game to try and challenge for a result.’’

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