Mike Ford: Bath boss wants attacking England at World Cup

By Chris JonesBBC Radio 5 live
Mike Ford gives a team talk to Bath players
Having narrowly missed out on a place in the Premiership play-offs last season, Bath currently lie second in the table

Bath head coach Mike Ford believes England must have an attacking mindset if they are to win the 2015 World Cup.

Bath are top point scorers in the Premiership so far this term and backs George Ford, Kyle Eastmond, Jonathan Joseph and Semesa Rokoduguni have been instrumental in their success.

And former England defence coach Ford says they could help Stuart Lancaster's side become the best in the world.

"I've said to Stuart, 'pick a team who can score points'," he said.

Ford was the England defence coach for almost six years between 2006 and 2011, and says that experience showed the importance of having a potent attack in international rugby.

"The one lesson I learned there is that you have to score points," he told BBC Radio 5 live.

"Unless you consistently score 25 points, you aren't going to win the big things. Then it is up to Andy Farrell, the defence coach, to keep the opposition under 25.

"Of course you win games 19-6, but I'm talking about winning Six Nations, winning Grand Slams and winning World Cups.

"You have to be like England when they won the World Cup in 2003, and be able to score points from anywhere, and of course the Bath players will do that."

Bath's potential England backs
PositionEngland capsStats this season
George FordFly-halfTwo 77 points in five Premiership games
Kyle EastmondCentreFourTwo tries in five Premiership games
Jonathan JosephCentreSixFour tries in five Premiership games
Semesa RokoduguniWingNo capsFour tries in five Premiership games

Ford's son George, who has two England caps, is first-choice fly-half in a Bath midfield which includes two more capped players in Eastmond and Joseph, with both centres scoring a try in the 21-11 win over Saracens on Friday.

"The centres are playing great," boss Ford continued. "With Kyle going to the line and JJ making breaks, they are playing brilliantly."

Dual-code international Eastmond toured New Zealand with England in the summer, impressing in the first Test match in Auckland before a difficult third Test in Hamilton a fortnight later.

But, after a series of outstanding individual displays this season, the 25-year-old says he feels good about both his own game and his partnership with Joseph in the Bath midfield.

"JJ is playing really well and so are all the other lads," said Eastmond. "We are starting to understand each other now.

"Of course, I'm human and everyone wants to play for England. But it's about what I do here at Bath, and whatever comes after that, hopefully it's enough."

Ford has also backed Fijian-born winger Rokoduguni for an England call-up.

The 27-year-old, a serving soldier in the British Army, was selected for the England Saxons earlier in the year, and has scored four tries in five Premiership matches this season.

"There were some stats in the matchday programme comparing him to [Saracens wing] Chris Ashton and he blew him out of the water," said Ford.

"For me, he is by far the best winger in the competition at the moment."

Lancaster names his Elite Player Squad for the November internationals on the 22 October, before England host New Zealand, South Africa, Samoa and Australia in consecutive weekends at Twickenham.