George Ford insists it is all systems go for 2015 after the fly-half helped England sign off from their autumn internationals in style.
Former Rishworth School pupil Ford played the full 80 minutes as England bagged a much-needed southern hemisphere scalp ahead of next year’s World Cup, Australia going down 26-17 at Twickenham.
The 22-year-old chipped in with 16 points as he further staked his claim to be handed the No 10 shirt permanently, former first choice Owen Farrell dropping out of the starting XV entirely against the Wallabies after starting at 12 for the victory over Samoa.
The Australia clash was only Ford’s second international start at fly-half but he put in a well-assured and comfortable performance, impressive for a young man new to the international stage.
And Ford admits he is now champing at the bit to dust off his 2015 calendar as he eyes a starring role in next year’s Six Nations and World Cup campaigns.
“Finishing on a high is brilliant, the first two were disappointing but two wins in a row now we can take those into the Six Nations,” Ford said.
“There is still lots to work on but you cannot beat the feeling in that dressing room. It’s huge to get that bit of momentum and get those good memories.
“We’ve learnt well this series. For the last two games we’ve simplified things and stripped things down a little bit to play to our strengths. We put that into action against Australia.
“There is a lot that is going to happen between now and the first game but Wales away on a Friday night is going to be a game where it is going to be about doing the basics really well, letting the forwards do what they do, grinding away and building a score.”
However Ford was quick to ensure his England teammates shared the limelight with him following Saturday’s victory over Australia, adamant it was the forwards who handed him a platform to shine.
“Our forward pack have been unbelievable, our set-piece, our lineout, our scrum and driving maul have all been on the front foot,” Ford added.
“As a ten it’s brilliant to play behind that – it’s a different story when you are not on the front foot – but we had to play to our strengths today as the forwards were brilliant.
“We tried to be a little smarter and manage the game a little more and I thought we did that.
“We massively owe them – we said in the week in the backline that we can’t have the forwards playing like that and us letting them down.
“I thought tactically the way we kicked the ball, the way we chased and the way we varied it was pretty good and we got good field position which allowed the forwards to get on the front foot and get the ball in front of them which they like.”
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