Ford’s assistance aids Leeds at breakdown

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Leeds Carnegie have enlisted the counsel of England defence coach Mike Ford as they attempt to strengthen their standing in the RFU Championship.

The Headingley club have won their last three league games but remain a work in progress. Ford, father of Leeds fly-half Joe and former colleague of head coach Diccon Edwards, conducted training at Kirkstall on Tuesday.

“It was outstanding. The quality and detail he brings to our preparation is excellent,” said Edwards.

“It gave the coaching staff and the players a real boost, and an understanding of what international preparation is about.

“It also allows us as coaches to learn from him, how he presents and communicates and gets the detail across to the players.

“We worked on our decision making at the breakdown, to try and not allow the opposition to play at quite the same speed as they like to do. We looked at our contact work, trying to slow the ball down.”

As for making the arrangement regular, Edwards said: “It won’t be as formal as that at this stage but he’s happy to lend his support.

“I’ve been in contact with him regularly so it’s not necessarily a one-off but it’s a relationship that will be positive for us.”