GEORGE FORD is England's ultimate team man. . . so he can be forgiven for also supporting GERMANY!
After leading the Red Rose in his 50th cap against Japan, Ford will head straight for a TV to watch the Black Eagles in their World Cup shoot-out against Canada.
Getty Images – Getty6 George Ford will captain England against Japan on Saturday
Ford's soft-spot for Das Eierjäger's (the egg-chasers) is because Germany are being bossed by his dad Mike, the former Red Rose and Bath coach who won his first game against Hong Kong last week.
Defending his support for England's big rivals, the fly-half said: "They play in white, so it’s OK!
"Dad's been there about 10 weeks and for the first six weeks – he’s didn’t even have the lads in camp who would be playing in the repechage.
"From a coaching point of view it’s been a great challenge for him, bringing those guys together as quick as possible to give them the best opportunity to get that World Cup spot.
Getty – Contributor6 Ford's dad Mike is Germany's coach and won his first game in charge against Hong Kong last week
"He said it’s one of the greatest challenges he’s had as a coach and Canada is a crunch game for them."
As his dad goes through one of the most demanding spells of his career, Ford junior has been battling his own personal troubles after losing his no.10 shirt in South Africa this summer.
Red Rose boss Eddie Jones then picked world-class star Owen Farrell as his playmaker in the opening autumn Tests against the Springboks then the All Blacks.
There was uproar in 2015 when Stuart Lancaster dropped Ford for the crunch World Cup game against Wales so he could play Sam Burgess with Farrell.
EXCLUSIVE: English rugby thrown into chaos after top dog Brown makes tracks
THE man leading the search for Eddie Jones’ successor has quit the RFU in the middle of one of their most turbulent years.
Twickenham chief exec Steve Brown is leaving his job at the end of 2018 – just 14 months after being promoted.
Nigel Melville, Director of Professional Rugby, will be interim chief exec until a replacement is found.
Brown bizarrely handed Jones a controversial two-year contract extension in January and then had to lay off a huge number of staff this summer following an over-spend of millions of pounds.
After joining the RFU in 2011 he worked his way through the ranks from Chief Financial Officer, Chief Officer of Business Operations and Managing Director of England Rugby 2015.
Announcing his shock decision, Brown said: "This has been a very difficult decision for me to make, and I informed the RFU Board earlier this week that the time is right for me to step down and take some time out."
Click here for the full story.
Getty Images – Getty6 Ford doesn't always start games under England coach Eddie Jones but says he's made peace with his changing role in the team
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But Ford has come to terms with life under Jones where even if he doesn't start games, he is still a huge influence amongst the squad.
Ford, 25, said: "I have learned over the last two weeks that it can’t be a starters versus finishers thing.
"The team is a squad of 23, not a 15. So you respect that and you understand Eddie wants to start the game with the players he does and he thinks that the guys coming off the bench are the right guys to finish it.
"You give it your best because ultimately you want to win as an England team. You do everything you can in your career to be the best player you can.
Reuters6 Red Rose train ahead of the Japan clash
"Of course you want to start, but you get your head around it and crack on.
"If you deal with it in terms of being frustrated or walking around kicking stones, you are clearly not ready to come on and try to win and be the best person you can be in the week to help the team.
"Even though I have not been starting games, my contribution has been the same if not more than what I would be if I was starting. You feel just as part of it even though you are not starting."
The buy-in from Leicester Tigers star Ford is just what Jones has been after. And a match-up with the Brave Blossoms is the perfect chance to rotate and reward the understudies.
Getty Images – Getty6 Ford says his contribution stays the same despite not starting in all games
The All Blacks showed why they are the best in the world when they found a way past England by using their bench.
And England, despite having a nightmare Six Nations and summer, are in fact becoming better-off as they have found a new depth to their squad.
Ford's acceptance of going from leading man to support-act, has been key to that.
And his teammates know just how valuable he is in their hunt for a second ever Webb Ellis Trophy next summer.
Reuters6 Ford was dejected after the loss to All Blacks
Vice-captain Maro Itoje summed it up.
The Saracens second-row added: "George is a great orator and his knowledge of the game – him and Faz, I don’t think I know anybody who knows more than rugby than those two.
"I am sure if there was a PhD in rugby those guys would be double doctorates and I would be a student in their classes."