Rugby

Burgess named in Saxons team

2015-01-29 18:23
Sam Burgess (Getty)

London - Rugby league convert Sam Burgess will make his international debut on Friday after being named in the second-string England Saxons team to face the Irish Wolfhounds in Cork.

Burgess will partner Elliot Daly at centre and Saxons coach Jon Callard says he has been impressed by what he has seen from the 26-year-old Bath player so far.

"I've watched Sam from afar in how he's evolving in the game. He's an impressive character," Callard said on Thursday.

"We're all excited for Sam, but we're taking it very, very calmly. There's plenty of time for him to develop.

"There's huge expectation, obviously, but it's an opportunity to test the waters at this level, see where he is, then reassess and put another plan together."

Burgess only joined Bath from South Sydney Rabbitohs last October, but has been tipped to stake a claim for a place in England head coach Stuart Lancaster's squad for the World Cup.

With Burgess still coming to terms with the change of codes, Callard said that he and his staff would try to avoid leaving him exposed against a strong Wolfhounds team.

"The challenge for us is creating a game-plan to get the best of him, and all the others too," said Callard.

"Individually he might make some errors, and I think he will live with that and learn from that.

"If he does get exposed it will be about the system we've tried to put in place, either a defensive framework or attacking framework.

"I do not think it would be an individual exposure. It would be because the system wasn't correct."

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