Thursday, 8 October 2015

Sam Burgess committed to union but as a flanker, insists Mike Ford

Sam Burgess has committed his future to rugby union for the next four years but "knows" it will be as a flanker not a centre, according to his Bath coach Mike Ford.

Rugby league convert Burgess has come in for some criticism since England's early departure from the Rugby World Cup, having started the Pool A defeat to Wales.

There have even been suggestions that the 26-year-old is ready to return to league with Leeds Rhinos.

However, his club coach has refuted those claims, insisting he is determined to make a success of his union career -- although not where he has been used by his country.

"Proving he is an international back-rower is the big challenge now for Sam," Ford told The Times.

"He's always been a No.6 for us, no question. We've talked about next time the England squad gets selected, his goal's got to be to be there as a six.

"The last conversation I had with him, he was going to extend his contract with us and he wanted to go for the next World Cup. He is going to play for us for the next few years. He loves rugby union, he is settled in Bath and he knows he is a six.

"He said to me, 'I know I am a six.' He enjoys being a six, he enjoys the game better because he is more involved."

Burgess returns to Bath next week, and Ford is certain he can prove his quality in a run of games that sees the Aviva Premiership club play Toulon, Leinster, Leicester, Northampton and Wasps.

He said: "If he can play six in those games, against the best in Europe, I am sure England will have a look at him in that role. I am sure he'll break into the international squad as a six."


Source: ESPN.com


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