Eddie Jones has no choice but to make major selection U-turn for Six Nations
With it now being a matter of days before Eddie Jones names his England squad for the 2022 Six Nations, there is plenty for him to consider.
While the Australian may have a rough idea of how he wants his squad to look, not only this year but as he builds towards the 2023 World Cup, a spanner has been thrown into the works and that spanner is in the form of George Ford.
The Leicester Tigers fly-half was one of the big omissions from England’s unbeaten autumn alongside some other senior players such as the Vunipola brothers. However, Ford has responded to that setback by securing his second Gallagher Premiership player of the month award of the season. The 28-year-old was named the December player of the month to add to October award as well, meaning he has won half the titles so far this season as he has helped guide Leicester to the top of the Premiership table, albeit they lost for the first time last Sunday against Wasps.
While Marcus Smith looks to be the incumbent No10 for England going forward, it is becoming increasingly hard to ignore Ford. With Owen Farrell still out with an ankle injury, though expected to be back for the Six Nations, Ford may have done enough to usurp the Saracen this season. Then again, Farrell has always been one of Jones’ favourite players, so it will take a lot for him to be dropped.
But this is a selection headache Jones will have over the next few days, but if Ford does return to the squad Jones can always say that this was all part of his plan.
Ford beat Harlequins duo Alex Dombrandt and Andre Esterhuizen in the poll, with the No8 coming in second and the centre third. All three players are at the top of their game at the moment, yet both Ford and Esterhuizen have struggled to make their national setups.