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Six Nations 2024: George Ford wants England to show attacking intent against Wales

George Ford

Fly-half George Ford has urged England to continue displaying their attacking intent when their Six Nations campaign continues against Wales.

Steve Borthwick's side were criticised during last year's World Cup for kicking the ball away and not showing enough ambition with ball in hand.

They played with more freedom in their Six Nations win in Italy despite being outscored three tries to two.

"At the very front of our minds is the intent to play," said Ford, 30.

"The intent to get behind the ball and attack the defence and go and try to break the line and scores tries.

"Since coming into camp two weeks ago, that's been the biggest mindset shift from us as a team. This is the first game and we've been trying to implement that.

"We could have made better decisions a couple of times but playing in it was pretty exciting and we want to build this.

"I want to keep the intent to play, break the line and score tries and probably pick our execution up when we've got the ball."

Ford kicked 17 points in Rome as England came from behind to end a run of four opening defeats in the Six Nations.

Alex Mitchell's second-half try overturned a narrow deficit after the Azzurri had threatened a first win over England, with Alessandro Garbisi and Tommaso Allan scoring either side of an Elliot Daly finish for the visitors.

Monty Ioane dotted down for a late consolation as Italy earned a losing bonus point in their closest defeat by England.

Ford, who will win his 93rd cap if he retains his spot at fly-half against Wales on Saturday (16:45 GMT kick-off), added: "I know the scoreboard says it was very close, but that second half we were pretty comfortable.

"The main positives for me were how we responded to them scoring tries, how it felt when we were trying to fire shots in attack and then how we controlled the game in the second half.

"Our intent to play and move the ball was good and I'm really pleased about that. It's always a balance. You always want to make good decisions and do the right thing at the right time.

"Winning the first game is huge. You always want to start this tournament with a win because it gives you a bit of momentum and confidence.

"We understand it's going to be a tough day - it always is against Wales - but we're really excited to keep on getting better.

"There has been a mindset shift in defence and attack that is really enjoyable to be a part of."

Smith to miss Wales game

Fly-half Marcus Smith has not been included in England's 36-player squad which assembled at Pennyhill Park to prepare for the game against Wales.

Smith, 24, was ruled out of the victory over Italy with a calf injury. England are yet to give a fitness update on Smith.

Prop Ellis Genge was a late withdrawal from the matchday 23 in Rome, but is included in the squad.

Centre Oscar Beard also returns after going through return-to-play protocols following a concussion.