Bath to go against England on Burgess selection

Bath rugby boss Mike Ford says that even though the England coaches see Rugby
league convert Sam Burgess as a centre the west country club will only pick
him at flanker.

England head coach Stuart Lancaster recently revealed that he will only be
considering Burgess for a role at centre for the upcoming Rugby World Cup.

Burgess starting his rugby union career with Bath at centre but was later moved
to flanker where he made more of an impact.

Ford says that Bath will only be considering him for selection in the number
six jersey.

“He’s only going to play at six,” Bath head coach Ford told BBC
Radio Bristol.

“If he was with us in pre-season and not with England, he could learn
his line-out roles better.

“I know ultimately he’ll come back a better player with his experience
at the World Cup, so I’m pretty chilled about it. It doesn’t concern me at all.
Wherever he plays, he’ll contribute to the England team.”

Lancaster says that he only wants experienced jumpers in the England line out
and Burgess has not played much in his newer flanker position.

Ford, who was England’s defence coach at the 2011 World cup says that Lancaster’s
policy in the forwards makes sense as they will need, “who have been doing
it most of their lives”.

Even though Burgess will only be considered at centre England backs coach Andy
Farrell has said that the league convert has what it takes to make it at centre
even if he does play in a different position for his club.

“We picked him in our training group as a 12 so we clearly believe he
can play there,” Farrell told the BBC.

“He’s given a very good account of himself so far this week. He’s looked
very comfortable in the centres.”

“What you find with a good footballer with a feel for the game is that
they’re able to adapt and play many different positions. Sam is one of those.”

Burgess played against the Ireland Wolfhounds in a Saxons team before the Six
Nations started and has yet to make his full England debut.

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