George Ford set for England Saxons bow

George Ford. Photo by Tom Shaw - RFU/The RFU Collection via Getty Images

George Ford. Photo by Tom Shaw - RFU/The RFU Collection via Getty Images - Credit: Archant

FORMER Harpenden schoolboy George Ford is set to make his England Saxons debut against the O2 Ireland Wolfhounds at Galway on Friday night.

The Leicester Tigers fly half is a former St George’s School pupil and played at junior levels for Harpenden RFC.

Ford will be joined in the back line by fellow debutants Elliot Daly (London Wasps) and Joel Tomkins (Saracens), while Saracens pair George Kruis and Will Fraser start in the back row at The Sportsground.

The replacements are also set to make their first appearances at this level are former England U20 forwards Rob Buchanan (Harlequins) and Shaun Knight (Gloucester Rugby), and ex-Rugby League international Kyle Eastmond (Bath Rugby).

Jordan Crane (Leicester Tigers) will captain the side after helping steer his club into the quarter finals of the Heineken Cup last weekend.

Crane is one of six full internationals in the team along with Matt Mullan (Worcester Warriors), Paul Doran-Jones (Northampton Saints), Joe Simpson (London Wasps), Jordan Turner-Hall (Harlequins) and Richard Wigglesworth (Saracens).

Head coach Jon Callard, said: “This is a dynamic young side with an average age of less than 24 and the players have a chance to show that they can play a major part of the future of England Rugby over the coming years.

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“The blend of forward power and pace in the back line makes it an exciting one to be involved with.

“We’re facing an experienced Irish side in this opening game and the challenge is to step up and deliver a high quality performance in front of a passionate crowd in Galway.”

After facing the Wolfhounds away from home the Saxons return to England to take on Scotland A at Newcastle on Friday, February 1 (8pm).

England Saxons line-up

15 Elliot Daly (London Wasps)

14 Christian Wade (London Wasps)

13 Joel Tomkins (Saracens)

12 Jordan Turner-Hall (Harlequins)

11 Tom Biggs (Bath Rugby)

10 George Ford (Leicester Tigers)

9 Richard Wigglesworth (Saracens)

1 Nick Wood (Gloucester Rugby)

2 Joe Gray (Harlequins)

3 Paul Doran-Jones (Northampton Saints)

4 Graham Kitchener (Leicester Tigers)

5 George Robson (Harlequins)

6 George Kruis (Saracens)

7 Will Fraser (Saracens)

8 Jordan Crane (Leicester Tigers, captain)


16 Rob Buchanan (Harlequins)

17 Matt Mullan (Worcester Warriors)

18 Shaun Knight (Gloucester Rugby)

19 Ed Slater (Leicester Tigers)

20 Jamie Gibson (London Irish)

21 Joe Simpson (London Wasps)

22 George Lowe (Harlequins)

23 Kyle Eastmond (Bath Rugby)