sport news MIKE BROWN: Ford vs Farrell final is a trial for the World Cup.... and that's ... trends now
Next weekend’s duel between George Ford and Owen Farrell is as close as we will get to a trial for England’s No 10 jersey at the World Cup.
It deserves its billing as a headline match-up because how well they play determines how well their team plays. They have such a big impact on everyone around them.
The way Ford has returned from injury is bad news for Marcus Smith because he has probably slipped down to third in the pecking order. Steve Borthwick will want his England players to be playing in the big games and having an impact on the big games.
That’s what Ford and Farrell have done in recent weeks, dictating their semi-finals, and that has not happened for Smith this season.
Ford looks fresh and sharp. Before Leicester’s semi-final against Sale last week, so much of our preparation work revolved around Ford. The way he draws defenders onto him and puts players into space is exceptional.
Owen Farrell (L) and George Ford (R) have had a big impact in big games in recent weeks
That starts way before the game. He does so much work behind the scenes. He has everyone well drilled, knowing exactly where they should be standing and running. Just like a quarterback.
He did that during my time with England, running the attack while Farrell looked after the