Legendary fly-half Andy Goode has voiced support to Sam Burgess, following the cross-codes stars unexpected attack on former Bath boss Mike Ford.
Opening up on the saga to former England teammate James Haskell and presenter Alex Payne on the House of Rugby podcast, Burgess revealed how the “politics” behind the scenes within the national team set-up caused friction when it came to selection, while Ford – who was then Burgess’s head coach at Bath – had his sights on Stuart Lancaster’s job and had already started to have an impact on the team.
And Goode backed up the cross-code star on this weeks series finale of chart topping podcast, The Rugby Pod: “Sam Burgess came out and said what he felt was the truth in his eyes. We have seen people defending George, defending Mike.
“In reality, I don’t know George personally so it’s probably not for me to comment on what has happened between players I don’t really know about. But what I do know is that I have got personal experience with his dad Mike and I completely agree with what Sam Burgess said about his dad.
“If you speak to people around the game you can only sort of judge people on how you interact with them and how they have treated you, and I believe every word that Sam Burgess said around Mike Ford. He has coached me, he has lied to my face.
“I go back to when I was leaving Worcester Warriors. Gary Gold was the head coach at Bath and Gary asked me to come down and look around Farleigh House. They were interested in signing me the same year that George Ford was leaving Leicester Tigers to go and play for Bath.
“Mike Ford had been my defence coach for England. When it is an England coach you have to treat them in the right way. You can’t be as honest as you would like with an England coach, so I still had that relationship with Mike where it was, ‘I have got to be careful of what I say, he’s the England coach etc’.”
“Gary said, ‘Look, Andy, I want to sign you. I’d love you to come down here’. At the time I was living in Cheltenham so it wasn’t too far, I wouldn’t have to move. Mike Ford was sat in the room as well and I said, ‘Look, guys, I appreciate your interest in me.
“I just want some honest answers really and I want to know are you signing me as a back-up to George Ford because I know George Ford is signing for Bath next year, he’s leaving Leicester Tigers, he’s coming to Bath.
“Mike Ford looks at me and says, ‘We haven’t signed George Ford. I can categorically tell you George Ford is not a Bath player and he won’t be next season’. I looked at Mike Ford and said, ‘Fordy, you know, I know and we all know in this room that George Ford is coming here next year’.
“I said, ‘It’s not about we, it’s just about Mike Ford being honest about his son. If I’m coming to the club to be his back-up just let me know. I’m 32 years of age, I can make a decision. I’m a big boy’.
“So, do I believe in everything Sam Burgess said about Mike Ford? Yeah, I 100 per cent do because that is the way I have had dealings with him and there have been numerous others when I was in England camp, there have been numerous stories about the game.
5 of the worst rugby stadiums in the world – Premiership, Six Nations & more
We’ve picked out five stadia from Britain and across the globe which have their issues.
Take a look, below, and let us know which rugby grounds you dislike and why…
1. AJ Bell Stadium
In five words or less: Archetypal 21st century ground
Most recent visit: 2019
Best feature: Good shop for merchandise
Worst feature: You pay £10 to park in a massive puddle in the mud before being penned in for almost an hour post match!
Quirk factor: 0/5