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Aviva Premiership
Bath dismiss Ford speculation
ESPN Staff
January 7, 2013
Leicester's George Ford fends off Saracens' Charlie Hodgson, Leicester v Saracens, Aviva Premiership semi-final, Welford Road, Leicester, England, May 12, 2012
George Ford is contracted with Leicester until the end of this season © PA Photos
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Bath coach Toby Booth has rubbished speculation linking the Premiership club with a move for Leicester fly-half George Ford.

Recent reports suggested that the 19-year-old Ford, the 2011 IRB Young Player of the Year, would make a high-profile switch at the end of the season having become frustrated at a lack of opportunities at Welford Road where he is the second choice playmaker behind England international Toby Flood.

Any such move would see Ford, who has also seen his peers Owen Farrell and Freddie Burns elevated into the England ranks in the last year, link up with his father Mike who is also on the coaching staff at The Rec.

Ford is only contracted until the end of the current season but Booth insists his club have not recruited one of the brightest talents in the English game. "His father, Mike [Bath's defensive head coach], should know and he hasn't signed with us, he wants to stay at Leicester. And George is categoric about that. And that is direct from Mike," Booth told The Daily Telegraph.

"George wants to fight it out with Toby Flood because this was a very important period for him in December and January, because he wanted to go head to head with Flood and try to prove himself at Leicester.

"That's as far as we know, and I think it is well-documented that there are talks with him to try and renew his contract and as far as we know, he'll be a Leicester player. What he does and the decisions around that are purely based on what he does in January-February when Flood is available."

Ford, who has started five Premiership games, two Heineken Cup clashes and one Anglo-Welsh Cup match for the Tigers this season, is currently part of the England Saxons set-up and is expected to retain his pace among the second string when the latest Elite Player Squads are announced on Wednesday.

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