George Ford: England beating South Africa shows tactics can outwit size

Farrell and Ford
Owen Farrell (left) and George Ford (right) both crossed for tries against South Africa
England v Fiji
Venue: Twickenham Date: Saturday, 19 November Kick-off: 14:30 GMT
Coverage: Listen on BBC Radio 5 live and follow live text commentary on the BBC Sport website

Fly-half George Ford believes England's lightweight midfield has shown size is not everything in modern rugby.

Ford lined up alongside Owen Farrell and Elliot Daly in Saturday's 37-21 defeat of South Africa, with the diminutive combination responding well to the Springboks' physical challenge.

"People can become a bit obsessed with size," the 23-year-old Bath player told BBC 5 live.

"But it's a thinking game as well, a tactical game."

Ford believes that after the first quarter of the match - in which Eddie Jones' men were rocked by the intensity of the visitors - England were able to take control.

"The first 20 minutes of a Test match, everyone is fresh and trying to smash each other, but after that it's more about tactics and game understanding," he added.

'Bore them to death'

Media playback is not supported on this device

England can get a lot better - Jones

Next up for England is the visit of Fiji on Saturday (14:30 GMT), with Jones aiming to "bore" the Pacific Islanders into submission.

The Australian says that does not mean his side will play "bad rugby", but instead wants to execute a "smart" game plan.

"You go to Fiji and everyone is throwing 15-metre torpedo passes, flicking the ball through their legs, side stepping," said Jones.

"If they can't do that they get bored. If they get bored, they don't want to play. And when they do that you get points against them.

"We are going to win the game and I want to win it conclusively. To win it conclusively we have to bore them to death."

Youngs is 'world class'

Ford also praised the contribution of half-back partner Ben Youngs, who set up two of England's four tries, including his own.

"He's world class," Ford said. "The more we can get numbers and motion around Ben, the more he is going to threaten defenders.

"His kicking game was outstanding as well. It's a joy to play with."

Subscribe to the BBC Sport newsletter to get our pick of news, features and video sent to your inbox.

Top Stories