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Farrell: Ford ready for England

England assistant coach Andy Farrell insists George Ford would be ready to make his debut in Saturday's RBS 6 Nations clash with Ireland if selected.

Reports suggest Ford will be included among the 23 for the pivotal showdown at Twickenham, providing fly-half cover to Owen Farrell from the bench.

England are expected to confirm Ford's presence in their matchday squad to face Grand Slam-chasing Ireland on Tuesday evening, with Brad Barritt making way.

"We don't select the side until Thursday. We have a squad that trained hard this morning and that will train hard this afternoon," Farrell said.

"Definitely George would be ready to play against Ireland. He's comfortable in the environment. He knows all the plays and our systems and is comfortable with them.

"When you get that you can start being yourself and bring your game to the party."

Decorated Ireland centre Brian O'Driscoll will face England for the final time on Saturday before entering retirement at the end of the season.

Farrell, who coached the 35-year-old during last summer's British and Irish Lions tour to Australia, insists O'Driscoll remains a dangerous player despite entering the final stages of his career.

"Brian is certainly a threat. If you've seen some of the performances he's put in already this year, he's been spectacular," Farrell said.

"Leinster's game against Northampton at Franklin's Gardens earlier this season shows what he can do for his side.

"He can turn a game on its head with the special skills and knowledge he has.

"What he brings even more so these days is a unity to the team and a real know-how of how to win big games because he's been there more times than anyone else."


From Belfast Telegraph