Burrell to ‘put fear in defences’

Date published: February 11 2015

England centre Luther Burrell wants to make a bigger impression physically for his country ahead of the Six Nations clash with Italy.

The Northampton centre broke into the England side in last year's Six Nations, but has been battling for a starting spot amongst a number of options at 12 including Brad Barritt and Kyle Eastmond. Last year Burrell was used at 13 in a partnership with Billy Twelvetrees.

In the win over Wales, Burrell and Jonathan Joseph's new partnership showed potential, with Burrell outlining the importance of his role on Tuesday.

"I'm 110kg – I'm a pretty big lad – so it's about me being confrontational, being physical and having a presence on the field, putting a bit of fear into defences, getting the team on the front foot and getting over the gainline," said Burrell.

"Hopefully I can give Jonathan a lot of space on the ball. Depending on what sort of gameplan we're looking at, if I can draw two or three defenders to tackle me and give him that open space to attack, that's what he is all about.

"As we saw at the weekend, he is electric with that outside break. But it's not just him, with Anthony Watson, Jonny May and Mike Brown, we've got a dangerous back three who are all electric too."

Burrell added that England's unity within their squad was 'fantastic', adding that the squad aren't afraid to be confrontational as was seen during the tunnel stand-off in Cardiff.

"We are like a tight band of brothers and it's fantastic to be a part of. We all get on well with each other, we've all got each others' back," added Burrell.

"This team has a strong culture. We know exactly what we're about. We have a strong belief in the way that we want to play and the way that we want to represent the nation.

"We don't want to take a backwards step. We want to be confrontational. We can't afford to let the game come to us.

"We have to go out there and meet it head on and that's something Stuart and the rest of the coaches are really trying to instil in us.

"To go to Wales, which was a full nation against us 23, that really showed the character of the squad and what a strong culture we have."