Ben Youngs insists George Ford’s accelerating development means the England fly-half is pulling the strings like a veteran international.
Ford’s vision and range of passing was imprinted all over Saturday’s 58-15 victory against Fiji as the Grand Slam champions amassed nine tries to extend their winning run to 12 Tests, 11 of them secured under Eddie Jones.
While the 23-year-old’s goalkicking remains a concern after missing two of three conversions once Owen Farrell had left the field, the assured timing of his distribution identified him as the undisputed ringmaster at Twickenham.
“George plays far beyond his years in terms of his rugby knowledge and how he plays the game,” said Leicester scrum-half Youngs.
“It was another performance in which he looks 28 or 29 and as if he’s been playing for years. He’ll continue to grow and the exciting thing is there’s way more to come because he’s still only a young guy.
“George puts people into space, gives them time on the ball and makes the right decisions at the line. He knows how to play flat and how to play deep. This game was another example of how he gives the ball at the right time, giving guys one-on-one collisions and then pulling it out the back to guys like Elliot Daly so that they can do their thing.”
Emphatic victories over South Africa and Fiji have left England on course for an unblemished year that continues with Argentina’s visit to Twickenham next weekend before concluding against Australia on December 3. The Pumas finished bottom of the Rugby Championship, although Jones views them as the second best team in this year’s competition, and Youngs is wary of their threat.
“I’ve watched them closely in the Rugby Championship. They’re exciting and they’ve changed their style from scrum, maul and kick to becoming an adaptable side,” added Youngs. “They move the ball a lot and at times we got caught by Fiji so they will be thinking they can exploit us.”