Sonny Bill Williams offers Burgess advice

2015-09-30 20:01
Sonny Bill Williams (Getty Images)

Cardiff - All Blacks code hopper Sonny Bill Williams has a simple word of advice for England's league convert Sam Burgess and that is to "keep it simple."

Burgess's performance as centre for England have been under the microscope since he was thrust into the World Cup limelight with just 112 minutes of rugby union under his belt.

Critics include former Ireland centre Gordon D'Arcy, who in a newspaper column after England's 28-25 loss to Wales said Burgess's "naivety embarrassed those around him."

Some English media have reported that Burgess will not make it into the England team to play a crunch game against Australia on Saturday.

But Williams, returning to the All Blacks in time for the World Cup after another stint playing rugby league, said Wednesday he believed Burgess will make it in the 15-a-side game.

"The two games are pretty similar. I thought Sam handled himself really well (against Wales) and played some good footie. He shored up that midfield for the England team," Williams said.

"I think the problem we have is sometimes we seem to over-complicate things. When you simplify things it's a lot easier than you what you think, so I'm really happy to see Sam go well in this tournament."

Williams, who previously switched from league to union in time for the All Blacks 2011 World Cup winning side, was Wednesday named to start at inside centre for the All Blacks in Friday's match against Georgia at Millennium Stadium.

He will partner Conrad Smith in midfield with regular number 12 one Ma'a Nonu one of four players on the injured list.

Backup flyhalves Beauden Barrett and Colin Slade were also suffering niggles as well as flanker Liam Messam.

Scrumhalf TJ Perenara was named as replacement fly-half should Dan Carter not play out the game.

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Opinion Poll

The Springboks' best player at the 2019 Rugby World Cup was:

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.