|Weight||84kg (13st 3lb)|
After becoming the youngest player to take part in a professional club match George Ford, the former England U18 captain, enjoyed the accolade of being crowned the IRB Young Player of the Year for 2011 after his eye-catching displays for the England U20 side.
He played in 11 consecutive matches and amassed 143 points from two tries, 38 conversions and 19 penalty goals. His final appearance was in February 2012 when he converted seven of the nine tries and led the team to a 59-3 win over Scotland at Firhill.
George was also the only person involved in a team sport to be among a shortlist of ten for the 2009 BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year award and made his England Saxons debut against Ireland Wolfhounds at Galway in January 2013 and played against Scotland A at Newcastle the following week. His first Test appearance was off the bench for Owen Farrell in the final minutes of England’s 29-18 victory over Wales at Twickenham in March this year and gave his captain Chris Robshaw a try-scoring pass in the Italy game six days later.
He initially appeared for Leicester Tigers at the age of 16 years and 237 days in the LV= Cup match against Leeds Carnegie in November 2009, but that was not all. He was in direct opposition at fly half to his older brother Joe, and they were watched by proud father Mike, the former England defence coach. George’s younger brother Jacob, now at Harrow School, has played for Saddleworth Rangers.
George, who has produced impressive performances since joining Bath Rugby this season, made 41 senior appearances for Leicester including 26 in the Premiership, scoring 275 points overall. He also won the Premier A League title twice and played for the club in the northern leg of the JP Morgan Asset Management Premiership Rugby Sevens on his home ground in July 2011.
It has been a long journey from Saddleworth Rangers RLFC where George was first involved in rugby at the age of four. He moved on to Wigan Warriors and Bradford Bulls and studied for A levels in English, PE and psychology at Rishworth School, Halifax and was later a contemporary of Owen Farrell at St George’s School, Harpenden.
George, Oldham born, has toured Argentina with England U18 and in August 2009 contributed 20 points when South Africa Schools were overpowered 45-13 at Kimberley. He had converted ten of the 15 tries in the previous tour match that brought a 95-0 triumph over Western Province.
He had first appeared for the U18 team at the age of 15 and also played for the North and the national U16 sides.
His points collection was expanded with 18 conversions and eight penalty goals and a try in five of the six England U18 matches in the season before last, all of which brought victory. It extended the winning run at that level to 18 games dating back to July 2007.
George scored 59 points during England’s Junior World Championship campaign in Italy in June 2011, having contributed 76 points to England’s Grand Slam earlier in the year. He initially landed three conversions against Wales and scored a try, eight conversions and a penalty goal in the runaway 74-3 victory over Italy at Bath.
His third game against France yielded a conversion and four penalty goals before he converted all eight England tries against Scotland at Newbury. George’s final flourish was 16 points in the Grand Slam clinching victory over Ireland.
George’s most memorable match was the 2011 IRB Junior World Championship final when England lost 33-22 to New Zealand in Padova. The players he most admires are Jonny Wilkinson and Dan Carter and his top ground is Welford Road. Mentors are Tosh Askew at the Tigers Academy and Matt O’Connor, then the Leicester head coach. George was included in the England Senior EPS Squad for the first time in January this year and was an unused bench replacement when Ireland were beaten 13-10 at Twickenham the following month.
2014 W(R), It(R)
Last updated: March 21, 2014