George Ford: Premiership final is not just me against Owen Farrell
George Ford says it’s not about one-on-one battles ahead of a thrilling clash at Twickenham with friend and fellow Englishman Owen Farrell.
Ford will pull the tactical strings for Sale in his first appearance in a Gallagher Premiership final since 2006.
His rival Fly-Half Farrell, meanwhile, is key to the Saracens’ hopes of clinching their sixth Premiership title on Saturday after suffering a disappointment in losing to Leicester at Twickenham last season.
“We understand Owen is an incredible influence on the Saracens team, but he’s one of only 15 men on the field at this point,” Sale playmaker Ford said.
“There are threats everywhere, and we ourselves are like that. I am one of only 15 of each that are for sale.
“I never see it as just a match between me and him. There is so much more to a rugby match.
“Of course we both want to do our job as well as possible, of course we do that for our team and that means making as many good decisions and implementing them as well as possible.”
“He’s a great friend and we understand that we’re just a cog in a machine made up of two teams that will hopefully impact the game in one way or another.”
“That consistency that he (Farrell) plays with very rarely falters. You can see the impact he has on the teams he plays in and the way he drives them forward.
“He obviously increases their diversity in the way they attack when they have the ball and on defense he’s probably as fierce as ever.”
“Rugby isn’t just about one player playing another, it’s about a lot of things.
“Who has the momentum, who has the ball speed, who has the field position, who is putting the most pressure on? And then it’s about who performs better in those moments.
“The Saracens have diversified their game, everyone knows that, given the way they’ve played with the ball over the last 12 months.
“But it comes down to who performs best under pressure because both teams will try to put pressure on each other. Who can handle it?”
Ford started for Leicester in the final last season but a serious Achilles tendon injury in the first half of the game meant he required a lengthy rehabilitation program and his Sale debut was pushed back to earlier in the year.
He now has a chance to win a silver in his first season with the Sharks, confirming Ford’s longstanding view that Sale can be a trophy challenge.
Speaking of moving north, he added: “It was the reasons for coming to where I grew up, to be close to my family and to join a team that I knew had incredible potential , to start competing and hopefully fight for titles.” in the Premiership.
“Also to have a new challenge. Sometimes the easier choice as a player to feel more comfortable is to stick with what you know and understand where you stand within the team.
“But you’re also faced with a decision, maybe stepping out of your comfort zone, moving to a new team and you’re at a stage where you have to start making an impact, you have to start putting yourself back in front of a whole new one Team to prove group of people and see what you can do with this team.
“I think that sometimes brings out the best in you. I definitely felt that when I came back from injury. I loved it.”