World Cup winner and code hopper Jason Robinson has backed Sam Burgess to succeed in his cross-code switch with new club Bath.
World Cup winner and dual-code international Jason Robinson has backed Sam Burgess to succeed in his cross-code switch with new club Bath.
England rugby league star Burgess will arrive at the Rec this season once he completes his NRL campaign with the South Sydney Rabbitohs, who currently lie second in the table.
That means his arrival could come as late as October, but Robinson, a World Cup winner and two-time Lions tourist, believes Burgess can emulate him by getting up to speed quickly.
Robinson made the switch to union in late 2000, but had already done enough to earn a spot on the Lions tour to Australia the following summer, whereas
Burgess will have to force his way into Stuart Lancaster's World Cup plans in a similar time frame.
“I'm looking forward to seeing a rugby league player in Sam Burgess coming over to rugby union,” Robinson said, speaking on a Land Rover promotional video created by Beyond Content.
There has been a lot of talk about will he do well or won't he do well?
“For me he's one of the best players in the world. If you have to get him from ice hockey, sailing, bring him in.
“He will add to the competition.
“I've seen this guy playing in the World Cup last year for England in rugby league.
“He's phenomenal. He's made a reputation in rugby league of being a big hitter, real strong, great offloads.
“And for him to make the decision to come over to rugby union, he's playing in Australia, he's one of the top guys over there, why does he need to come over to a sport he doesn't know much about?
“So for him to do that, I think is great for rugby union.
“I can't wait to see him. I've never seen anybody hit quite as hard as him. I think he'll do well. Lots of people are saying he's only got 12 months to prove himself.
“For me, I came across to rugby union in November, the following February I was playing for England and in June, I was playing for the Lions so it can be done.”