Joe Ford has rushed to the defence of brother George following Sam Burgess outspoken rant on the House of Rugby podcast.
The rugby league convert said that the presence of Mike Ford’s son George in the squad became problematic during the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
“With George, Mike kind of infiltrated the camp – that is my take on it,” added Burgess.
“After me starting against Wales, my relationship with George completely changed, he wouldn’t talk to me, he was a bit sulky.
“Knowing what I know now, I see the politics. George came on with 10 minutes to go to keep Mike and George happy. We didn’t need him on, we had the team to finish the game.”
Joe, who will join for Doncaster Knights backroom staff ahead of the 2020/21 Championship season, took to Twitter to respond to the outburst.
For what it’s worth & I know he’s my brother but George is the most selfless individual I have ever known. It’s crazy to suggest otherwise. 69 caps is an awful lot to get if your not all about the team. I know countless teammates will agree.— Joey Ford (@_JoeyFord) June 4, 2020
“For what it’s worth & I know he’s my brother but George is the most selfless individual I have ever known,” wrote Joey.
“It’s crazy to suggest otherwise. 69 caps is an awful lot to get if your not all about the team. I know countless teammates will agree.”
Burgess also called his then-Bath coach Mike Ford “a snake” and accused him of using Burgess as a “pawn” to play politics.
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“Mike Ford wanted the England coaching job,” Burgess told the House of Rugby podcast.
“I had to tell him I couldn’t play for him anymore. I’d lost respect for him.
“I just felt that people behind the scenes were playing a deeper game,”
LINE-UP | A rugby union XIII that would dominate rugby league
With Sky Sports re-running the ‘Clash of the Codes’ matches between Wigan and Bath, RUCK feature writer Oliver Roby has trawled the globe to bring together an all-star team of Union players who’d dominate in rugby league.
1. Full Back – Romain Ntamack
A Rugby League full back needs to be adept in both attack and defence, so we’ve opted for France fly half Romain Ntamack.
His ability to play in the centres in union should see him stand up when required in defence, while his deft handling skills will come to the fore going forward, acting as the extra playmaker like so many of the great rugby league full backs in recent years.
2. Wing – Joe Cokanasiga
Much like their union counterparts, speed and finishing chances are very much part of the game as a winger. Perhaps the only quirk is that league wingers tend to take more carries out of their own half in league.
That’s why Bath powerhouse Joe Cokanasiga would be ideally suited to playing on the wing in rugby league.
3. Centre – Manu Tuilagi
Athletic, strong and extremely capable, Tuilagi would be able to make the union-league switch fairly comfortably as a centre. His physicality in defence would be useful, while his go-forward could well be in the mould of Keith Senior, a modern day great in league. A potentially fearsome partnership with Cokanasiga in either code.
4. Centre – Kurtley Beale
Beale is no stranger to rugby league having grown up playing the sport as a youngster. The union full back would offer a different style to that of Tuilagi, but his agility, soft hands and fine running game would suit rugby league well anywhere in the backs.
5. Wing – Denny Solomona
Something of an unimaginative pick given his recent association with league, but the Sale winger had an incredible strike rate in his days as a professional league player.
Though he was brought up on rugby union, the New Zealand-born England international lit up Super League during his time with Castleford Tigers. His last year in the code before what many viewed as a controversial switch saw him break the all-time Super League record for tries in a season as he scored 40.
Tigers fans would surely welcome him back in an instant given the opportunity.