GEORGE FORD will start in Saturday’s huge World Cup semi-final against New Zealand — as Eddie Jones rips up his England team again.
The boss is planning another big selection bombshell by dropping Henry Slade to sub and pairing Ford and Owen Farrell as twin playmakers.
1 George Ford is set to start for England against New Zealand in the semisCredit: PA:Press Association
Ford will start at fly-half in an attempt to kick Steve Hansen’s side into oblivion at Yokohama, in one of two starting changes.
Fears over two-try quarter-final hero wing Jonny May’s fitness were doused after he took part in the second half of yesterday’s crunch training session.
Jones will also tinker with his second-row pairing and stick George Kruis in the engine room alongside his Saracens team-mate Maro Itoje.
Jack Nowell is set for the bench after beating a hamstring problem. Jones teed-up a possible half-back change straight after conquering Australia last week.
Asked if Farrell can keep the No10 shirt against the All Blacks, he said: “Whether he plays 10 next week we’re not sure.
“He doesn’t know, and at this stage we don’t know, but we’ll make a decision.
“Some 25 years ago we used to play with two stand-offs, one chunky and one slender and they were a great complement to each other, so I don’t think it’s a new thing.
“You look back at the great Christchurch Crusaders side and they had Dan Carter and Aaron Mauger playing together, so I think it just happens that the game evolves and at certain times it’s useful, particularly the way the game is at the moment.
“It’s hard to get fast ball, so your ability to find space through having two guys who have got great vision is certainly an advantage.”
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Rival boss Hansen is planning for the mix-up and called his mate Jones out on it, saying: “You’ve got to assume that they could bring George Ford back, so you plan for that.
“Through the Six Nations he mixed it up and he’s mixed it up in this tournament. You have to think that he’s going to do it again.
“The key thing then is making sure your guys have total clarity and you add in little nuances because you’re playing England instead of Ireland or Wales or whoever.”