GEORGE Ford believes his glittering first half of the season has justified his decision to quit Leicester for the Rec as the young fly-half prepares to return to Welford Road this weekend.

A lack of first-team opportunities led to the 20-year-old opting to join father Mike’s Bath and Ford will go looking to put a dent in his former side’s ambitions of regaining the Aviva Premiership title on Sunday.

Ford is relishing the opportunity to go toe-to-toe with the man who always stood in his way at Welford Road – England man Toby Flood.

“I can’t wait. Welford Road is obviously a great place to play and Leicester have hit a bit of form as well so it’s the got the potential to be a good game,” said Ford.

“We’ve got to go and take the game to Leicester because, like you saw at the weekend, we gave Northampton a bit too much respect and they capitalised on that.

“This will be the first time I’ve been back. You obviously make friends in and around the club and the stadium so it will be good to see everybody but hopefully we can get the result on the day.

“Playing against some old teammates should obviously be a good one.

“When I left, I was at the time of my career where I just needed to get game time and my decision to come here was to give myself the best possible chance of doing that.

“And up until now, it’s worked out all right. But I know that as an individual, things can change very quickly, so you’ve got to keep your feet on the ground and keep working hard because I know that my spot in the team is not guaranteed, with other people like Tommy (Tom Heathcote) and Gav (Gavin Henson) on my heels.

“I was behind Toby at Leicester and he was playing brilliant at the time.

“I picked up lots from watching him day in, day out in training and in games, so I can’t speak highly enough of Floody – it will be the first time I’ve played against him, so I’m looking forward to it.”

Ford’s impressive season so far has seen the Bath youngster heavily tipped to earn a call-up to England’s Elite Player Squad and Rec coach Toby Booth reckons his fly-half is doing all the right things to put himself in contention for a place in Stuart Lancaster’s national side.

Booth said: “Unless you play him, you’ll never know. So from that point of view, it’s completely up to them and how brave they want to be about it.

“They know that George is a quality player and he’s played extremely well and been at the centre of a lot of things that we’ve done.

“But so have Ant Watson, JJ (Jonathan Joseph), Ollie Devoto, Kyle (Eastmond), Dave Attwood, Matt Garvey and Carl Fearns – there’s been a lot of people that have put their hands up.

“The boys themselves can’t control whether they get picked or not. All they can do is put their best foot forward every week for Bath.”