Jacob Ford has defended his brother, George, and father, Mike, describing comments made by Sam Burgess as being “extremely far-fetched.”
“When it came out, you read it, you go through whatever was said [by Burgess] and whatever allegations were said and obviously we are biased, but knowing they are absolutely out there and far-fetched, you kind of laugh it off a little bit,” revealed Ford, who was speaking exclusively to Talking Rugby Union.
“I couldn’t sit in the same room as Mike, I’d lost all respect for him”— RugbyJOE (@RugbyJOE_UK) June 3, 2020
In this week’s episode of House of Rugby, @samburgess8 reveals all about England’s failed 2015 campaign, calls Mike Ford “a snake” and says that he tried to sabotage Stuart Lancaster. pic.twitter.com/NVCPuf99TQ
“You just move on and that is why we came to the conclusion that the less you say is more powerful. It gives a better representation of who you are as an individual and what values you hold. We, as a family, have very strong values. Integrity is one of them and honesty and respect so we are very core to those values and we stick by them.”
“Nobody outside that group will know what happened or what the failings were, but what is clear to see is the evidence that that group of players stuck together and got better,” added Jacob. “I do find it hard to believe that anyone outside of that could influence certain results or certain characteristics of the team.
“Regarding his comments about my Dad, the one thing I would say is that I do think he has overstepped the mark with what he said and he is entitled to his own opinion and you have got to respect him for that, but it is extremely far-fetched, extremely out there without having almost stone cold evidence. You scratch you head a little bit at these things.”
England’s strangest call-ups: The worst England XV of all-time
RUCK looks at the worst players to have ever pulled on a shirt for the Red Rose.
First of all, we have to say that to play for England you have to be a very good player – but these players, for one reason or another, never quite performed as they would have liked in the white jersey.
This team was inspired and partly taken from Mike Cooper’s origional blog on RuckedOver.
Fullback: Mark Van Gisbergen
Yes, he has a cap – only a fleeting one, as a late replacement for Mark Cueto against Australia in 2005 – but he does boast a 100% winning ratio in international colours, so you can’t knock that. His main strengths were dropping the high ball under limited pressure and getting gassed on the outside.
Winger: Barrie-Jon Mather
He became the first player to represent Great Britain in Rugby League and England in Union. His move to union was part funded by the RFU, who were embarking on a strategy of converting some of leagues best talent. However, Mather struggled to make an impact with Sale and moved back to Castleford in 2000. In spite of his poor form with Sale, Clive Woodward gave Mather his debut against Wales in the famous Grand Slam decider in 1999. However, Mather never played for England again after Wales won the game 32-31, following Scott Gibbs’ superb try.
Centre: Joel Tomkins
Tomkins began his League career with Wigan in 2005 and outside of a short stint with the Widnes Vikings in 2007, played with the Warriors until moving to Saracens in 2011. While Tomkins initially struggled to adapt to union, but his form during the beginning of the 2013/14 season saw him earn an England cap against Australia in November 2013. Although he went on to make two further international appearances, he looked completely out of his depth and returned to league soon after.
Centre: Sam Burgess
England, who fast-tracked Burgess into their World Cup squad in defiance of logic, Bath and the player himself each shoulder varying degrees of blame for arguably the greatest cross-code flop in history. We’re not saying he was an awful player, but the whole thing was a complete disaster.
Winger: Lesley Vanikolo
The Volcano’ stormed onto the scene for Gloucester, doing something ridiculous like scoring five tries on his debut against Leeds, before qualifying for England on residency grounds. International honours followed, with Vainikolo making his England debut against Wales in 2008. However, he failed to bring his try-scoring form to the international scene and was quickly dropped from Martin Johnston’s squad after winning five caps.Embed from Getty Images