Rugby

English-Born Billy Burns Won't Have Split Allegiances This Weekend

English-Born Billy Burns Won't Have Split Allegiances This Weekend

Billy Burns is set to play a part for Ireland in Saturday's clash against England, but if things had turned out a little differently he could be lining up on the other side.

The 26-year old was born in Bath, representing England at underage level. He was even part of the team that won the U20 World Cup in 2014, but has now set out his international stall with Ireland.

Qualifying to play for the country through a Cork-born grandmother, Burns moved to Ulster in 2018 with the prospect of an Ireland call-up firmly fixed in his mind.

He made his test debut at the weekend, replacing Johnny Sexton in the first half. He played well before having to be taken off himself for a HIA.

Despite playing against the country of his birth on Saturday, when speaking to the media earlier today Burns confirmed that there will be no split loyalties.

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I won't feel conflicted at all. I am very much here to play for Ireland. My passion is to play for Ireland.

I loved representing Ireland on the weekend. So there will be none of that. I'm fully focused, if I do get the opportunity and things go well with the return to play, it will be all about getting the win for us.

It doesn't matter whether we're playing England, New Zealand or whoever, it's all about getting the result for us...

I always knew I was Irish qualified through my grandfather and the opportunity came up to go to Ulster.

It was just an opportunity I couldn't turn down. I felt it was the best place for me to go and improve as a rugby player and push and hopefully try and play professional international rugby.

With Sexton ruled out, it is likely Burns will play a part at Twickenham if he is available after his HIA.

SEE ALSO: Eddie Jones Claims England Are Underprepared Ahead Of Ireland Clash

Gary Connaughton

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