Planet Rugby

Lancaster denies Burgess plans

06th February 2014 18:03


Sam Burgess England Rugby League WC 2013

Sam Burgess: England target?

England head coach Stuart Lancaster insists Rugby League star Sam Burgess is not part of his plans for the 2015 World Cup.

Widespread reports have linked the League international with a code switch and a move to the Aviva Premiership, with Bath believed to be his likely destination.

It has also been reported that the England staff see the 25-year-old South Sydney Rabbitohs forward as a possible contender for a place in the England midfield.

Burgess is contracted to the Rabbitohs until 2016 meaning a transfer fee would have to be paid to secure his services.

"It's all a bit hypothetical at the moment and is just speculation as far as I'm aware. The RFU haven't made any approach to the Rabbitohs," said Lancaster.

"It's really an issue for Sam if he wanted to come to rugby union.

"He's under contract and would need to persuade his club to release him and another club to sign him.

"We don't centrally contract players so it would have to be an arrangement with an English club."

Lancaster insists the timescale ahead of next year's global showpiece would make it difficult to consider a new-comer to the 15-man code.

"It would be a challenge, big time, because of the nature of learning the sport and everything else that goes with it," he said

"There's a bigger picture about developing a team that goes way beyond 2015 as well."

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