Planet Rugby

Farrell backs Burgess code switch

08th February 2014 08:14


Sam Burgess England RL training 2014

Sam Burgess: Will he switch?

England backs coach Andy Farrell believes Sam Burgess has the "warrior" mentality that will help him be a success in Union should the Rugby League star change codes.

Widespread reports have suggested England's Rugby Football Union are considering bringing Burgess into the 15-man game and may be willing to fund, at least in part, a buy-out of the two years left on his contract with Australian NRL side South Sydney Rabbitohs.

Farrell, himself an international player in both codes, denied he'd approached Burgess about a move to union during last year's Rugby League World Cup in England.

But speaking on the eve of England's Calcutta Cup clash against Scotland at Murrayfield, Farrell's admiration for Burgess's playing ability was clear.

"Sam can make an impact, that's the type of person he is," Farrell said of the talented 25-year-old.

"He's an impact type of guy. That's what he brings with his attitude.

"He's certainly a fighter and a warrior. He's very similar to what we have in people like Luther Burrell, Billy Twelvetrees and Manu Tuilagi. Those type of people are pretty important."

But as for suggestions that Burgess might change sports with a view to playing in the 2015 rugby union World Cup in England, Farrell said that was demanding a lot.

"It's a tough ask, but some people can take to things more quickly than others," said the coach.

"Mentality-wise you're trying to get ready for a battle, especially at international level, but the game does take some time to get used to as far as instinct is concerned.

"I'm not saying that somebody of the calibre of player we talking about couldn't."

Meanwhile Farrell was adamant he had not tried to lure Burgess away from rugby league, saying his most recent contact with the player was when he presented him with his shirt before England's agonising World Cup semi-final loss to New Zealand in November.

"Not once have I ever spoken to Sam about rugby union in any way, shape or form," Farrell said.

"The last time I spoke to him was at the World Cup, like I spoke to 24 other players."

Forthcoming Fixtures
All times are local
Super Rugby
Saturday , August 2
Waratahs vs Crusaders19:40
More Super Rugby fixtures
Recent Results
All times are local
Super Rugby
Saturday , July 26
Crusaders 38 - 6 SharksCrusaders vs Sharks Report
Waratahs 26 - 8 BrumbiesWaratahs vs Brumbies Report
Saturday , July 19
Brumbies 32 - 30 ChiefsBrumbies vs Chiefs Report
Sharks 31 - 27 HighlandersSharks vs Highlanders Report
Saturday , July 12
Crusaders 34 - 8 HighlandersCrusaders vs Highlanders Report
Reds 3 - 34 WaratahsReds vs Waratahs Report
Lions 60 - 25 CheetahsLions vs Cheetahs Report
Stormers 10 - 34 SharksStormers vs Sharks Report
Friday , July 11
Blues 8 - 11 ChiefsBlues vs Chiefs Report
Brumbies 47 - 25 Western ForceBrumbies vs Western Force Report
Bulls 40 - 7 Melbourne RebelsBulls vs Melbourne Rebels Report
Sunday , July 6
Waratahs 44 - 16 HighlandersWaratahs vs Highlanders Report
Saturday , July 5
Crusaders 21 - 13 BluesCrusaders vs Blues Report
Western Force 30 - 20 RedsWestern Force vs Reds Report
Stormers 16 - 0 BullsStormers vs Bulls Report
Cheetahs 27 - 20 SharksCheetahs vs Sharks Report
Friday , July 4
Chiefs 24 - 16 HurricanesChiefs vs Hurricanes Report
Lions 34 - 17 Melbourne RebelsLions vs Melbourne Rebels Report
More Super Rugby results
International Match
Saturday , June 28
South Africa 55 - 6 ScotlandSouth Africa vs Scotland Report
More International Match results
Super Rugby
Hurricanes 16 - 9 CrusadersHurricanes vs Crusaders Report
Waratahs 39 - 8 BrumbiesWaratahs vs Brumbies Report
Western Force 14 - 40 BluesWestern Force vs Blues Report
Friday , June 27
Highlanders 29 - 25 ChiefsHighlanders vs Chiefs Report
Melbourne Rebels 20 - 36 RedsMelbourne Rebels vs Reds Report
More Super Rugby results
International Match
Saturday , June 21
Australia 39 - 13 FranceAustralia vs France Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership Table
5Leicester Tigers00