England's Ford fit to face Ireland in Autumn Nations Cup

London (AFP) –


George Ford has been passed fit by England to play against Ireland in Saturday's Autumn Nations Cup international at Twickenham.

Fly-half Ford missed Six Nations winners England's concluding Championship match away to Italy and last week's 40-0 Twickenham trouncing of Georgia in their Autumn Nations Cup opener last week.

But the Leicester No 10 has now been given the all clear.

England coach Eddie Jones is due to name his side on Thursday and Ford is now pressing either to take over at stand-off from Owen Farrell, with the captain then likely moving to inside centre, or start on the bench.

"George is looking good, he's training really hard," England forwards coach Matt Proudfoot told reporters on Wednesday. "It's good to have his experience and adaptability in the squad.

"He's been training really well."

England announced a 25-man squad on Tuesday, meaning two players will be dropped when veteran Australian coach Jones unveils his matchday 23.

But someone who did not even make it into that extended squad was Jack Willis, despite the flanker marking his England debut with a try against Georgia.

England, however, have plenty of back-row options and Proudfoot said of Willis: "We're very pleased with Jack, he's done very well and is pushing hard and growing.

"We want him to be a better player week in, week out and we feel he's doing that. He has a good appetite to learn and has a bright future ahead of him.

"He did well against Georgia, his first cap produced a try and he performed really well in tough conditions for a loose forward."

But it appears England want a more experienced trio to counter the threat posed by Ireland's back-row.

"You look at what you've got at your disposal. You look at the challenge. And then you pick the best 23," said Proudfoot.

"The Irish forwards, especially the loose forwards, are very very good. CJ Stander, Peter O'Mahony, Josh Van Der Flier are unbelievable loose forwards.

"So we're looking forward to meet that challenge, how best can we nullify that threat of theirs, and we select what we feel is the best team to counter that threat."