Burgess struggles for Saxons

2015-01-31 07:41
Sam Burgess (Getty)

Cork - Sam Burgess endured an underwhelming debut for England Saxons as he failed to showcase his credentials for a Six Nations call-up in his team's 18-9 victory over the Ireland Wolfhounds on Friday.

With England head coach Stuart Lancaster watching on at Irish Independent Park in Cork, Burgess produced several errors in the first half before becoming an increasingly anonymous figure after the break.

The Bath inside centre, who is just eight matches into his union career after changing codes, failed to make any meaningful impact on a night that may have ended talk that he could play a role in England's forthcoming Six Nations campaign.

But the former league superstar, who harbours dreams of playing in this year's World Cup, was hardly alone in failing to grab his opportunity as the Saxons toiled against a strong Wolfhounds line-up with openside Matt Kvesic, substitute Maro Itoje and number eight Thomas Waldrom among the few to impress.

Fly-half Henry Slade and wing Christian Wade crossed and Slade kicked two penalties in a match that saw the set-piece splutter all night, but the ability to seize victory in a difficult assignment will please the English management.

All of the home side's points came from the boot of Ian Madigan, who landed three penalties in a bitterly cold night.

Sean O'Brien, alongside Gordon D'Arcy and Keith Earls one of three British and Irish Lions picked by the Wolfhounds, made a successful return from shoulder surgery in his first outing since September, but whether it will be enough to earn a starting spot in the Six Nations opener against Italy remains to be seen.

Read more on:    rugby

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