Burgess better in the pack – Folau

Date published: June 24 2015

Australia full-back Israel Folau believes fellow code hopper Sam Burgess is better suited to playing in the forwards than the backline.

Burgess has been playing at inside centre and blindside flank for Bath in the Premiership and was named in England head coach Stuart Lancaster's 50-man preliminary squad for the Rugby World Cup.
The former South Sydney Rabbitohs NRL player's rugby union career started out in midfield but after a difficult transition to the 15-man game Bath coach Mike Ford move him to the forwards where he has impressed as a blindside flanker.

And for Folau, there is little doubt about which position is best for Burgess, despite England's apparent desire to use him in midfield.

“He’d definitely be better in the forwards,” Folau told Fox Sports

“His skill set looks suited to a running forwards position.

“But I’m sure wherever the coach decides to play him he’ll do really well.”

Despite making the switch to the forwards relatively late in the season, Burgess adapted quickly and delivered several impressive performances for Bath.

Folau knows it's not easy making the transition but feels Burgess has a more difficult task than he had.

“For me coming across as an outside back I felt like my transition was a little bit easier because it is very similar to my role playing rugby league,” added Folau.

“But a forward’s role in league and union is very different. There are a lot of new things to pick up and the style is quite different.

“But a guy like Sam Burgess who is very talented can pick up the game quite quickly and he’s definitely got some talent so I hope he does really well.”