Ford Praises JONES’ Man-Management Skills

George Ford has praised England head coach Eddie Jones’ man-management skills, insisting his empathy at the helm of the team has earned the kind of respect from his players that will breed success.

Following his father Mike’s departure from Bath earlier this week, fly-half Ford, who started all five games in the RBS 6 Nations for England, was offered a few days off from the team’s training camp in Brighton by Jones, an offer he declined.

Wasps scrum-half Joe Simpson this week revealed Jones had given his blessing for him to compete for Team GB Sevens this summer instead of heading Down Under, and Ford admits England’s top players have quickly come to appreciate having such a strong two-way trust with their boss.

“Eddie totally understands it, he knows lads go through difficult stages in their career,” said Ford.

“He knows lads potentially want to go and achieve different things.

“But the best thing with him is that he talks to you all the time, he’s honest with you, he lets you know where he stands, he lets you know what he thinks.

“And that’s all you need as a player, because if you understand what he’s thinking and you get his backing on certain things then you can go and crack on doing what you do.”

Ford’s comments came in the week Joe Marler made the decision to withdraw from England duty ahead of the team’s summer tour of Australia, following his admission he was not 100 per cent after recent disciplinary troubles.

Jones has unequivocally backed Marler’s decision, and while Ford insists the front-rower will be missed in the England camp, he praised his determination to get back to his best.

“I honestly think it’s courageous from Joe,” Ford said. “A lot of people potentially would have tried to get through it, knowing that they wouldn’t be 100 per cent to give all they’ve got.

“So with Joe it’s always team first, he’s a great lad, everybody loves him, everybody respects his decision.

“And if he feels he can’t give what we need, then to be honest like he’s done in withdrawing himself, that’s really courageous.

“All the lads respect him, they love him as a teammate and I’m sure he’ll be back.”