Rugby Union

Sam Burgess to make first international appearance

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Sam Burgess will make his first start in an England shirt on Friday when England Saxons face the Irish Wolfhounds.

The rugby league convert joined Bath in October and his progression in Union has been closely watched by the nation.

Playing for the England B team represents an opportunity to get involved in the national camp and create a relationship with a view to forcing his way into the training squad announced in May for the World Cup.

Burgess is starting at 12, outside Exeter’s promising youngster Henry Slade. They will be joined in the backs by Elliot Daly and full internationals Chris Ashton and Marland Yarde, whilst Chris Pennell will start at fullback.

First international Appearance

This will mark Burgess’ first foray into international rugby in union, and comes just 14 months after he represented England in the Rugby League World Cup.

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“The challenge for us is creating a game plan to get the best of him. We’ve got to give him the best opportunity to show what he can do,” said Saxons head coach Jon Callard, according to the Daily Mail.


The hype around Burgess has been like nothing else in the sport of rugby union on these shores, but coach Callard believes the former South Sydney star remains unfazed by it all.

“I’ve watched Sam from afar in how he’s evolving in the game, he’s an impressive character.

“There’s a huge expectation obviously, but it’s an opportunity to test the waters at this level. He’s certainly capable of playing international rugby. He won’t be fazed by it.”

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