Sam Burgess will stay in rugby union and will play in the 2019 World Cup for England as a blindside flanker, according to his club coach Mike Ford.
Burgess’ inclusion in the England World Cup squad – and then the starting XV – has been a major talking point in recent months and the former rugby league star is not included in the 23 for England’s denouement this weekend.
He has played the majority of his Bath matches as a flanker, but England have used him as a battering-ram centre.
England crashed out of the World Cup after defeats to Wales and Australia, and there was speculation that Burgess might return to the 13-man code.
But Bath coach Ford told Sky Sports News HQ that he expects Burgess to extend his contract at The Rec by two years, which would take him to the 2019 World Cup.
“He’s got another two years with us,” Ford said. “He enjoys the sport, he loves Bath city. He loves the way we play. If he had a choice now he’d sign an extension with us and he’ll try and get through to the next World Cup in 2019. That’s where his heart lies.
“He’s going nowhere and we’re looking forward to having him back.”
England coach Stuart Lancaster did not consider Burgess as an option in the back row because he was not a viable line-out jumper.