Burgess below par on attack – BOD

Date published: August 21 2015

Former Ireland and British and Irish Lions centre Brian O'Driscoll feels Sam Burgess' attacking game is not up to Test standard.

O'Driscoll praised Burgess' defensive performance during his Test debut for England against France at Twickenham last weekend, but said the league convert is still below par on attack and hailed the performance of Henry Slade, who also made his Test bow against the French.

"Burgess has proper defensive X Factor, of that there's no doubt," O'Driscoll wrote in a column on his website, www.brianodriscoll.com.

"His tackle technique and strength in the hit were never in question and for me, he has just the right amount of thug in him to make having a go just a fleeting thought.

"When his team has the ball though, I just don't think he's quite up to speed at international level just yet.

"I said it last season watching him play for Bath that the difference between attack play in league and union is that in union the hard work starts when the player is tackled and the ruck forms.

"In league, the tackle completes the play with no rucking needed. Two very different mindsets.

"As much as all eyes were on the league convert, it was actually his centre partner that stole the show for me.

"I’ve only seen small quantities of Henry Slade but what I’ve seen, I’ve really liked. 

"I’m not sure he’s going to be considered for this years World Cup due to his lack of international experience. 

"I also think the way Stuart Lancaster wants to play the game, his size could count against him but he has plenty of good years to come. 

"I can see him playing 12 in a Mike Catt type role going forward, if England have aspirations to play a more expansive brand in time."