|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, for which he played in 11 consecutive matches and amassed 143 points. He converted seven of the nine tries when he led the team to a 59-3 win over Scotland at Firhill in his most recent appearance in February.
He 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.
He first played 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. George was in direct fly half opposition to his older brother Joe, now back with Leeds from Northampton Saints, 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 had made 20 senior appearances for Leicester by the end of last season, including ten in the Premiership, and scored 110 points overall. He has 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 last year. He is now a Tigers’ first team squad member.
It is a distant echo 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, Physical Education and Psychology at Rishworth School, Halifax.
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, the Leicester head coach. And his ambition? "It’s to become one of England’s greatest rugby players."
U20 International Record
143 points – 2T, 38C, 19PG
2011 W, It, F, S, I World Championship – I, S(R), SA, F, NZ 2012 S