British & Irish Lions fly-half Owen Farrell faces stiff competition for his England shirt according to Bath head coach Mike Ford.
Farrell, who played in the Lions’ series-clinching Test win in Sydney last summer, is widely seen as first choice in Stuart Lancaster’s England setup.
But Ford, whose son George is one of Farrell’s chief challengers, believes there are a number of players with credible claims to the No.10 shirt.
Ford junior was ruled out of this summer’s tour to New Zealand following an operation, which allowed Freddie Burns and Danny Cipriani to stake their respective claims.
And his dad believes the quartet will each go into the new season knowing a good run of performances could see them instilled as first choice.
“There’ll be massive competition for that No.10 spot now, with Danny Cipriani and Freddie Burns as well, but that’s what head coach Stuart Lancaster wants,” Ford senior told the Rugby Paper.
“I see it as a massive positive for guys like George and Owen Farrell to have that competition because those two characters, who I obviously know well, will just try and get better and drive themselves on to regain the England shirt.”