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Ford backs Joseph for England


Jonathan Joseph scored in Bath's win over Newcastle

Jonathan Joseph scored in Bath's win over Newcastle

Jonathan Joseph scored in Bath's win over Newcastle

Jonathan Joseph brought his try tally in the Aviva Premiership to six in seven games with a superb break through the Newcastle cover in Bath's 23-14 win at the Recreation Ground.

But head coach Mike Ford is as keen as anyone to see the 23-year-old centre back in an England shirt against Samoa next weekend, even though it clashes Bath's trip to London Irish.

"We played very well at Exeter last week but had no cutting edge," said Ford. "He has great feet, the ability to make a break and score tries.

"It's just the way England look at things. In my time at England too, we were a bit conservative, picking teams not to lose as opposed to picking a team to win. But you've got to score points."

On the overall performance against Newcastle, Ford added: "It was a good result - and an important one.

"Last year we were in the top four but never in the top two. After seven games now we are there and thereabouts with Northampton and Saracens. Luckily we've got no injuries this week. Matt Garvey has come back and got through it.

"We've got another coming back next week (Carl Fearns) and after that the cavalry come back for Harlequins and the Montpellier. The next two games are crucial for us in terms of the Premiership."

Asked if his team deserved to get something out of the game, Newcastle director of rugby Dean Richards said: "I think we did in some ways but the scrum didn't function, which was disappointing.

"Then we gave four or five needless penalties away which again cost us. If you do that then you probably don't deserve anything out of the game.

"We still missed nine points with the boot and there were two tries that went begging - but with both those we scored immediately afterwards. There were times we defended heroically.

"We wanted something out of the game. We didn't get it - that's the disappointing thing."