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Page last updated at 13:02 GMT, Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Leeds' Ford targets starting spot

Joe Ford
Ford scored 13 points on his debut

Leeds Carnegie fly-half Joe Ford has set his sights on securing a permanent first-team place.

The 19-year-old was named man-of-the-match on his debut in Leeds' LV= Cup win over Leicester Tigers on Sunday after scoring 13 points.

"Hopefully I have given the coaches something to think about for next week and for the rest of the season," he told BBC Radio Leeds.

"If you planned a perfect debut before the game this would have been it."

Ford is the son of Mike Ford, current England defensive coach and former Castleford and Wakefield rugby league player.

Joe claimed bragging rights over 16-year-old brother George who made his Leicester Tigers debut in the same game, also at fly-half.

"It was great to share this experience with him. I'm really proud of him as he is now the youngest player to ever play English first-team rugby," he said.

Head coach Neil Back said: "We've been impressed with Joe's contribution to the academy and the A League structure this year and this was the perfect opportunity to see what he can do at this level.

You need someone in the mix when the pressure is on to be able to make clear decisions and executing them and that's what he has done in the A team and now in the first team

Back on Ford

"He put in a very good performance, with a lot of composure. He kicked very well and he took his opportunities. He deserved his man-of-the-match performance.

"I think he is now up to first-team level. The A League is there as a development tool and it's been very good at getting players ready for first-team action, like Joe.

"He is progressing nicely there and he is a very mature young man.

"He speaks with a lot of confidence in front of senior players and that's what you want to see.

"You need someone in the mix when the pressure is on to be able to make clear decisions and executing them and that's what he has done in the A team and now in the first team."



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