TOP BAR - Fixtures

Joe Ford sees bright future with Sale Sharks

Joe Ford is into his third season with Sale Sharks and the fly-half is eager to ensure his long-term future lies at the AJ Bell Stadium.

Since arriving from Yorkshire Carnegie in 2013, Ford has often played second fiddle to England stand-off Danny Cipriani at Sale, stepping in when required and collecting 113 points in 33 Aviva Premiership Rugby appearances.

Eleven of those points arrived last weekend, when the 25-year-old was handed a starting berth against Harlequins and helped the Sharks to a 29-23 victory.

Ford’s contract is up at the end of this season but with Cipriani heading south to Wasps, the opportunity is there to step into the breach – and he is eager to take it.

“The rugby that Sale are playing at the moment is exciting, because with all the options you’ve got, especially at ten, you look up and you’ve got two or three options including yourself,” he said.

“I’m really enjoying it and Dimes has put a great coaching team together now and you can how it’s working on the pitch.

“Danny’s obviously played internationally so I’ve picked up a lot of things off him. He works hard at his game and we both push each other in training so he’s been good from that point of view.

“I just work hard at my kicking, it’s a process really, you have to stick to that and if it goes over it goes over. Thankfully that happened at the weekend so I was happy.”

As ever, Ford’s is not only concerned with his own progress, but also that of younger brother George.

The 22-year-old has been entrusted with the reins at fly-half by England head coach Eddie Jones during the Six Nations and could well link up with a fit-again Manu Tuilagi against Wales on Saturday.

“He’s really enjoying it,” added Ford. “Eddie’s given not just George but the rest of the team a lot of confidence.

“He’s backed him from the start and said ‘you’re the man, go and do this job’ and you can see them growing each game and hopefully against Wales you’ll see a great performance.

“That will be brilliant, especially for George. If you’ve got Manu running off your shoulder and JJ (Jonathan Joseph) outside and [Anthony] Watson too, there are so many threats.

“And George is a threat too. It’s tough for defences, so if Manu plays it just increases the level they can reach in attack.”

Latest News

London Irish name side for Ealing Trailfinders clash

London Irish have named a 30-man squad for this Friday’s pre-season clash with Ealing Trailfinders at Hazelwood (kick-off 7.30pm). The…

Gloucester Rugby announce line-ups for preseason friendly at Leinster

Gloucester Rugby will give game time to a number of their first team squad in Leinster on Friday evening as…

American rugby players and coaches to get once in a lifetime opportunity

Thirty American rugby players and coaches are being handed the chance of a lifetime to train in England with Premiership…

Stephen Myler: Northampton Saints ready to fight for the title

Stephen Myler is predicting the closest ever Aviva Premiership Rugby campaign and believes his Northampton Saints side will be right…

Sonatane Takulua expecting big things from Newcastle Falcons this season

Sonatane Takulua believes unity and a collective purpose, combined with an improved playing pool, can help propel Newcastle Falcons up…

Sonatane Takulua

Wasps name team for first pre-season fixture against Ulster

Dai Young has named a 26-man squad to take on Ulster Rugby at Kingspan Stadium in the first pre-season fixture…

Anglo-Welsh Cup 2017-18 launched

WORCESTER WARRIORS have the honour of hosting the opening match in this year’s Anglo-Welsh Cup on Friday 3 November, when…

Leicester Tigers win the Anglo Welsh Cup

Ally Hogg pleased by Newcastle Falcons’ early progress

Ally Hogg believes Newcastle Falcons are well set to attack the new Aviva Premiership season after a double dose of…

Ally Hogg

Topsy Ojo relishing Exiles return to Aviva Premiership Rugby action at HQ

Topsy Ojo believes there could be no more fitting way for London Irish to announce their return as an Aviva…

Newcastle Falcons’ Sonatane Takulua sees Philadelphia trip as a ‘great opportunity’

Newcastle Falcons’ Sonatane Takulua insists his side’s September clash with Saracens in Philadelphia will be no holiday for the players,…

Sonatane Takulua

Harlequins statement: Luke Wallace and Jonas Mikalcius

Harlequins can confirm today (Tuesday 15th August) that flanker Luke Wallace dislocated his hip during the pre-season friendly against London…

Luke Wallace

London Irish kick-off Anglo-Welsh Cup at home to Bath

London Irish will host Bath Rugby at the Madejski Stadium in the opening round of the Anglo-Welsh Cup on Saturday…

London Irish kick-off Anglo-Welsh Cup at home to Bath

HITZ graduate secures first full time job after being inspired by Premiership Rugby final

A teenager from Leigh who overcame a troubled home life and tackled confidence and communication issues thanks to Premiership Rugby…

Lucy Neal

Nick Kennedy delighted with first pre-season hit-out for London Irish

London Irish director of rugby Nick Kennedy is looking forward to seeing his side build on Saturday’s thrilling contest against…

Nick Kennedy

Philadelphia bound Nick Civetta can’t wait for American Series challenge with Newcastle Falcons

NICK CIVETTA HAS had an unlikely path to the top level but as he prepares to embark on his second season…

Nick Civetta

Demetri Catrakilis relishing chance to reunite with old friend Tim Swiel

Harlequins fly-half Demetri Catrakilis has revealed he is ready to join forces with  compatriot and old acquaintance Tim Swiel – insisting…

Worcester Warriors to use number of players in Hartpury test

Warriors will look to use up to 37 players during their fixture against Hartpury College this Saturday in their first…

GJ van Velze

Emergency Services workers invited to London Double Header

Saracens are offering up to eight free tickets to any member of the London Emergency Services for the upcoming London…

London Double Header

Newcastle Falcons teams for double-header v Doncaster and Nottingham

Three-time French title winner Maxime Mermoz is among the Newcastle Falcons players making their debuts in Saturday’s home double header…

Nili Latu