Ford: Stopping Sexton not enough vs Ireland

Ford also talks about England captain Owen Farrell coming up against an Ireland side coached by his father, Andy

Last Updated: 17/02/20 10:23pm

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England fly-half George Ford says Johnny Sexton will offer a major threat when Ireland visit Twickenham in the Six Nations
England fly-half George Ford says Johnny Sexton will offer a major threat when Ireland visit Twickenham in the Six Nations

England fly-half George Ford says stopping opposite number Johnny Sexton will not be enough to beat Ireland in Sunday’s Six Nations match at Twickenham.

It will be the first time England have played at Twickenham since their World Cup campaign in Japan and Ford says the team “can’t wait to get in front of our home crowd”.

England have opened the Six Nations with two away games – a defeat to France and a win in Scotland – while Ireland, who boast a 100 per cent record so far, are yet to travel.

Sexton tackles Ford during a Six Nations clash back in 2015
Sexton tackles Ford during a Six Nations clash back in 2015

Ireland captain Sexton has already shown his danger in wins against Scotland and Wales, scoring 23 points, but Ford does not want England to lose sight of the “threats all over the field”.

“I think they’ve got some more strengths other than Johnny,” Ford told Sky Sports News.

“They’re very good in the air, the kicking game and on the ground as well, in terms of the breakdown game. They also stick in the game, they are pretty tough in terms of that.

“They’ve got threats all over the field, obviously he is a key part of it, but there’s a couple of other areas we need to deal with as well.”

Ford added: “Sexton’s a huge part to what they’re doing and how they play and I’d imagine from a leadership role – him being captain – he’s integral to what they do.

“I think the most impressive thing with Conor Murray at nine is the way they manage the game and the feel for the game they both have.

Ford trains as England prepare for Sunday's Six Nations match against Ireland
Ford trains as England prepare for Sunday’s Six Nations match against Ireland

“They make good decisions at the right time and try to keep their team on the front foot. It’s interesting watching and learning off other guys like that.

“Our job as a team is to make sure we can impose our game on them, hopefully, and build a bit of pressure on ourselves.”

Ford has confidence in captain Owen Farrell that he will be able to put family loyalties to one side on Sunday, when he comes up against an Ireland team coached by his father, Andy.

“They are both competitive guys, professional guys,” he said.

Andy and Owen Farrell will be on opposing teams this Sunday
Andy and Owen Farrell will be on opposing teams this Sunday

“Owen will be doing everything he can to make sure England get the result and I’m sure Andy will be doing the same for Ireland.

“They are a very well-coached team, Ireland, and we have got a huge amount of respect for them – they’ve started this tournament really well.

“When we are preparing I’m sure Owen, as captain of this team, will be doing everything he can to make sure we win.”

Source : Sky Sports