England's George Ford not surprised by Owen Farrell's fine form after injury
George Ford fully expected his rugby "obsessed" England team-mate Owen Farrell to make a stunning return from the back injury that delayed the start to his season.
The childhood friends are set to continue as twin playmakers when South Africa visit Twickenham on Saturday with Ford operating at fly-half and Farrell at inside centre.
Farrell missed the opening six weeks of the season through a niggling injury that prevented him from kicking, but marked his comeback with a man-of-the-match performance in Saracens' 33-21 victory over Toulon on October 15.
"I wasn't surprised by Owen's form. He would have been on top of things constantly even if he was not training to his full capacity," Ford said.
"He is obsessed with the game. He'd have watched the games on TV and he'd have been having input with his team at Saracens.
"Mentally he would have been on it and I am sure physically he would have been doing as much as he can to put himself in the best position he could for when he returned.
"I am sure you would have seen he's playing brilliantly and picked up where he left off in Australia."
Farrell is one of three England players shortlisted for World Rugby's player of the year award, alongside Billy Vunipola and Maro Itoje, with the winners announced on Sunday.
"There have been some outstanding performers in the team and those three especially. Other players could have made it as well," Ford said.
"The reflection of that is the way the team has gone. If the team are not winning every Test match then there are going to be less names on that list and less chance of lads playing to their potential."