Ford fired up for England role

Mike Ford has answered his country's call - and he is now determined to transform England's fortunes before next year's World Cup defence. [more]

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Mike Ford has answered his country’s call – and he is now determined to transform England’s fortunes before next year’s World Cup defence.

Ford, 40, joined Andy Robinson’s new-look England coaching team on Tuesday night after rejecting a more lucrative offer from the Welsh Rugby Union.

The former Ireland and 2005 British & Irish Lions defence coach was flattered – but he could not turn down the chance of dragging England out of the doldrums and putting the red rose back on top of the world.

"I was approached by them [Wales] but once England came in, it’s pretty tough to turn your country down," said Ford, who has signed a one-year rolling deal with the Rugby Football Union.

"It’s nothing to do with money – I’m actually on less money with England than Wales offered.

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"I coached Ireland and loved it, but there’s nothing like coaching your own country."

Ford has joined Robinson’s coaching team along with forwards specialist John Wells and both were put straight to work.

England face the Barbarians at Twickenham on Sunday afternoon before flying to Australia for two Tests against the Wallabies.

"I do think I can help turn things around for England," Ford told BBC Sport.

"My aim is to turn England into the best defensive team in the world.

"Although the results haven’t shown it recently, the players England have at their disposal are very, very good players.

"It’s a case of managing the players and creating the right environment for them to perform.

"Hopefully, the England management team can create that environment – if they do, then we’ve got the talent and the skills to be genuine contenders at the World Cup."

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