George Ford: ‘You play rugby because you enjoy it. It’s easy to lose sight of that’

England fly-half George Ford says he has mellowed but admits to having an obsessive perfectionist side that needs to be harnessed

If George Ford could be granted three wishes on the eve of a potentially gripping Six Nations he would make the following requests. Firstly he would like England to raise their attacking game to a different level and underline their status as a serious side. He also wants more people to realise that, despite his unsmiling on-field demeanour, he is actually enjoying himself. And the third? That all his passengers respect his strict cleanliness rules when he drives them back from training.

A psychologist might detect a pattern to this seemingly random list: a deep-seated need for order amid chaos, underpinned by a desire to be loved as well as admired? England, either way, have capped some obsessive fly-halves but none as tidy-minded as their current No 10: “Even if I didn’t play rugby I still think I’d be like that. I’m bad with my car. Not the outside so much but the inside. If someone gets in with a pair of dirty boots I’ll have to clean it as soon as we’ve finished the journey. It’s a bad habit but it’s what I’ve got used to.”

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