There has been a great deal of debate over whether rugby league convert Sam Burgess has what it takes to make England’s Rugby World Cup squad. Here are six reasons why we think he might just be able to do it…
There’s no doubting Burgess’ natural talents. Although it may still take him a while to master the more complex arts of rugby union such as rucks, mauls and line outs, his ability to pass, tackle and run with the ball are potentially world class.
Burgess brings something unique to the side in that he is capable of covering both the back row and the midfield. This means if he were to be in the match-day squad, it would allow England more flexibility on the bench due to Burgess covering several positions.
Given the current England squad is relatively inexperienced, Burgess could play a key leadership role. He may not have the experience of playing international union, but he has proven time and again that he is capable of driving his teams on.
One potential area of criticism for the England pack is that they’re not abrasive enough. Although entirely committed to the cause, they potentially lack a big of ‘dog’ in them. Burgess has shown he isn’t afraid to get stuck in, and could add a certain fear factor to the team.
Another area of potential concern in the England pack is the lack of ball carriers. Both Tom Wood and James Haskell has struggled to make ground ball in hand. One thing Burgess certainly isn’t afraid of is taking the ball into contact.
6.He’s An Unknown Quantity
Although everyone knows the name Sam Burgess, most sides will be totally unfamiliar with him as a rugby union player. The fact he is an unknown quantity to most sides may mean they struggle to deal with him at first allowing him to make a big impact at the World Cup.