Borthwick might be forced to rethink his Six Nations squad after latest return
Over half a year after joining Sale Sharks from Leicester Tigers, George Ford is set to make his debut for his new club tomorrow against Bristol Bears in the Premiership Rugby Cup at Ashton Gate.
The fly-half injured his Achilles tendon in the Gallagher Premiership final in June, and has had to wait this time to make his long awaited debut.
This is obviously good news for Alex Sanderson and his Sale team, but England head coach Steve Borthwick might be keeping an eye on how he gets on.
Ford’s England career looked as though it was coming to an end under Jones. He did feature in last year’s Six Nations in Owen Farrell’s absence, but he looked to be behind Farrell and Marcus Smith in the pecking order. This was despite having a sensational 2021/22 season under Borthwick. The England coach is clearly a big fan of the 29-year-old, and his appointment as head coach has probably offered Ford a lifeline on the Test stage.
Ford has not even played yet, but Borthwick might have an eye on him for the future, whether that be for the back end of the Six Nations or the World Cup on the horizon.
Bristol Bears XV
15. Noah Heward (2 apps), 14. Ioan Lloyd (70 apps), 13. Harry Ascherl (5 apps), 12. James Williams (6 apps), 11. Henry Purdy (47 apps), 10. Callum Sheedy (149 apps), 9. Andy Uren (150 apps); 1. Jake Woolmore (c) (124 apps), 2. Fred Davies (4 apps), 3. George Kloska (19 apps), 4. Charlie Rice (3 apps), 5. Ed Holmes (93 apps), 6. Joe Owen (2 apps), 7. Dan Thomas (123 apps), 8. Aaron Tull (3 apps).
System players: 16. Jake Kerr (28 apps), 17. Andrew Turner (2 apps), 18. Jay Tyack (8 apps), 19. Paddy Pearce (debut), 20. Macenzzie Duncan (6 apps), 21. Sam Lewis (7 apps), 22. Oscar Lennon (6 apps), 23. Sam Worsley (1 app).
Sale Sharks XV
15. Jason Woodward, 14. Tom Roebuck, 13. Tom Curtis, 12. Sam Hill, 11. Elliot Gourlay, 10. George Ford, 9. Raffi Quirke; 1. Bevan Rodd, 2. Tommy Taylor, 3. Coenie Oosthuizen, 4. Ben Bamber, 5. Alex Groves, 6. Ewan Murphy, 7. Sam Dugdale ©, 8. Rouban Birch
Replacements: 16. Harry Thompson, 17. Tumy Onasanya, 18. Joe Jones, 19. Dom Barrow, 20. Will Riley, 21. Will Cliff, 22. Ryan Mills, 23. Joe Bedlow.