George Ford could win England’s lifeline as rugby bosses vote on Six Nations rule change

Rugby lawmakers will vote on whether England coach Eddie Jones should be allowed to name an enlarged Six Nations squad, which would improve George Ford’s chances of securing an international recall

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Leicester Tigers opening half George Ford could be offered a return to the England squad if plans are successful for Eddie Jones to be allowed to build an extended squad for the upcoming Six Nations.

This is after the Mail on Sunday reported that the Professional Game Board is set to consider a proposal for Jones to pick 32 players, up from the current 28.

This would bring the selection policy closer to pre-Covid levels after the Rugby Football Union (RFU) took the initiative to reduce the England squad to last year’s Six Nations to minimize the spread of the virus.

But there are fears that the coronavirus could lead to unplanned absences from the next Six Nations, and Ford is said to be one of the biggest names likely to benefit from the increased squad size.

George Ford would be one of the best candidates to return to England if plans are approved to increase the size of the Six Nations squad


Ashley Western / PA Wire)

The Leicester playmaker is arguably enjoying the best form of his career so far and has propelled the Tigers to the top of the Premiership, having suffered only their first loss of the season at Wasps on Sunday.

Many fans felt the 28-year-old deserved a call-back for the recent fall internationals, but Jones opted to only take Marcus Smith and captain Owen Farrell as their opening half options.

This left the Aussie with little choice but to play Northampton full-back George Furbank in a No.10 shirt against Tonga in November after Farrell contracted Covid-19 and Smith had yet to be found. his full form.

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Eddie Jones hopes captain Owen Farrell will be back in top form as soon as possible


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But the Red Rose could avoid the risk of a similar event at the next Six Nations if they were allowed to appoint more staff, and it would be difficult for Jones to continue to ignore Ford in that scenario.

There is only a week left before Jones names his Six Nations squad on January 18, and Ford, who will join Sale Sharks at the end of this season, could still have a chance to add to his 77 caps.

The Oldham-born orchestrator won the last of those appearances at last year’s Six Nations and was England’s opening half for most of the tournament, but that was before the emergence of Smith at Test level.

Marcus Smith looks set to lead England as an opening half against Scotland on February 5


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The Harlequins prospect appears determined to retain the No.10 jersey after guiding Jones’ side to the November victories over Australia and South Africa, while Farrell is in a race to be fit for the Six Nations following an ankle injury.

If England were allowed to nominate a bigger squad, another option of Ford’s quality could at least give Smith more coverage in the opening rounds of the Six Nations while Farrell gets back to full fitness.

Jones & Co. will open their tournament against Scotland at Murrayfield on February 5, while their first home game of the competition will only come in the third round, when they host title-holding Wales, February 26.

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