It’s an age-old debate which seemingly produces a different answer depending on who you ask and when you ask them. The best fly-half in the world is a constantly evolving accolade and creates discussion at best, anger at worst.
In his latest video, YouTuber Squidge provides a well-described and detailed exposé on why he believes England and Leicester’s George Ford fits the bill of “best 10 in the world”.
That choice may initially appear as nothing more than a clickbait type title which is used to get people riled up, but the rationale behind the analysis is sound.
It all comes down to defining exactly what a fly-half is and what is expected of them in the modern game. So often the case today, out-halves are essentially additional centres or in the case of someone like Finn Russell or Richie Mo’unga, slightly maverick and unpredictable.
What Squidge explains in Ford’s selection, is a more “back to basics, old-school” 10 who is able to control the game tactically as well as creating opportunities in attack.
In many ways, the role of the stand-off has been hijacked – for good or for bad – by the modern game tactics and style of play, meaning that the traditional role of the position is a far cry from how it is now.
While players like Beauden Barrett and Handre Pollard are still able to execute in the same way as Ford, it is – according to Squidge – Ford’s behind the scenes work and vision of playing rather than continuous structure which makes him stand out.
Whatever your opinion of Ford as a fly-half, and there will be plenty, the level of analysis and detail of thought is certainly worth a watch.