Leicester's George Ford plays down international award

George Ford in action against Scarlets
Ford has impressed during a difficult start to the season for Tigers

Leicester Tigers fly-half George Ford says there is no chance that he - or the club - will let personal success affect his attitude.

"Leicester's a place where there are no egos and that's what makes it special," Ford told BBC Radio Leicester.

"Everyone is equal so you can't change the way you are."

He added: "It came as a shock at first but I felt massively privileged to pick up the award and be the first Englishman to do it.

"But rugby is not an individual sport, it's a team sport and I couldn't have done it without the lads."

Ford played a starring role as the youngest player in the England side that reached the final of the Junior World Championship in Italy in June.

England lost the final against favourites New Zealand but Ford impressed and continued his development by returning to Welford Road and playing regular first-team rugby for the Tigers.

Ford has started four of the club's six Premiership games this season and appeared in both LV= Cup ties.

Although it has been a tough baptism as an injury-ravaged side shorn of their international stars have struggled, he has been an undoubted success.

"It's been a pretty tough start," Ford said. "But the experience for someone young like me has been invaluable and I've loved every minute of it."

Director of rugby Richard Cockerill is certainly thrilled with his progress.

"George is doing really well," Cockerill said. "It's reward for his hard work here.

"He's working hard with the first team and at 18 he is playing men's rugby and doing some pretty good things, so we're delighted for him.

"He had a really good tournament in the summer. It's good to see that the academy are doing some good things and producing some good players."