'England different without Owen Farrell' - George Ford

George Ford has been starting at fly-half in Owen Farrell's absence
George Ford has been starting at fly-half in Owen Farrell's absence

England fly-half George Ford admitted that the side is in the process of adapting to life without Owen Farrell as they embark on a new chapter under Jamie George's leadership.

Farrell has taken a break from international rugby to focus on his mental well being but will be available for England selection as he makes a switch from Saracens to Racing 92 at the end of the ongoing season.

The 32-year-old made his England debut in 2012 and has been capped 112 times. He was also part of the side that clinched the Grand Slam in 2016 and the squad that reached the final of the 2019 Rugby World Cup and led them to the semi-final of the 2023 World Cup where they lost to the eventual champions South Africa with a 16-15 margin.

The absence of Farrell and injury to Marcus Smith has seen George Ford cementing the fly-half role with Fin Smith providing cover from the bench.

“It is different without him. He has been here for so long,” said childhood friend Ford, who will be England’s flyhalf against Wales at Twickenham on Saturday.

“He has been such an integral part – he has been our captain, he has been a massive leader for us and he stamps his authority on our team.

“So him not being here, of course it’s different, but there is always a time when things change".

England are at second place in the Six Nations table following their 27-24 win over Italy in the opening round of the tournament. They will be taking on Wales in the second round at Principality Stadium on Saturday.