Ford to heed Jones' France warning

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After being warned against leaving the Premiership by England coach Eddie Jones, Bath's George Ford insists he is not interest in a move to France.

Mike Ford, the father of the fly-half, left Bath in May after a disappointing season, taking over as coach of four-time Top 14 winners Toulon.

His son, though, remains at The Rec and will continue to prioritise his international ambitions, with foreign-based players not deemed eligible for national team selection under Rugby Football Union rules aimed at safeguarding the strength of the domestic competition. 

"My dad's there but I want to play for England," Ford said when asked about Toulon.

"I've not met Mourad [Boudjellal, Toulon president] but he's very ambitious. You hear names every week who Toulon are trying to sign. They haven't got a bad squad as it is. I don't know why they need to sign anyone else but hopefully they'll sign a few for my dad's sake."

Asked if will be staying at Bath next season, Ford said: "Yes, as far as I'm aware - unless anyone else knows different. We've started the season well and I'm happy with how we're doing."

As for the 23-year-old's long-term prospects of trying his luck outside England, he added: "I think it would be a great life experience playing somewhere like France. It is a different way of playing and living and you'd probably see the sun and the beach more. I'll see where I am in a few years' time."

Ford is likely to be joined by Owen Farrell when England host South Africa at Twickenham on Saturday, the inside centre having recovered from a back problem that saw him miss the start of the domestic season.

"I wasn't surprised by Owen's form. He would have been on top of things constantly even if he was not training to his full capacity," Ford said.

"He is obsessed with the game. He'd have watched the games on TV and he'd have been having input with his team at Saracens.

"Mentally he would have been on it and I am sure physically he would have been doing as much as he can to put himself in the best position he could for when he returned.

"I am sure you would have seen he's playing brilliantly and picked up where he left off in Australia."