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Sam Burgess Agrees With Gordon D'Arcy: He's Not A Centre

Sam Burgess Agrees With Gordon D'Arcy: He's Not A Centre
By Conor O'Leary Updated
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The inquest into England's failure at this World Cup seems to have lead to one thing - Sam Burgess is unlikely to be seen as an England centre again.

This appears a knee-jerk reaction to the criticism that Burgess wasn't ready to defend from centre at the international level, but it's a decision that Burgess is taking. No, the cross-code star isn't level union like many other attempted converts - but Burgess wants to play in the back row.

It's a very understandable move, and one that should suit his skills. Burgess is a beast of a man, and his best games since his switch to union have been when playing in the back row for Bath. There he doesn't have the responsibility of managing defensive line, but can focus on using his sheer physicality.

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Burgess looks set to extend his contract at Bath, and is aiming to make the rugby union World Cup in 2019 as a blindside flanker. His head coach at Bath, Mike Ford is backing him to make more of an impact in his more natural position:

He’s always been a No 6 for us, no question. We’ve talked about next time the England squad gets selected, his goal’s got to be to be there as a six.

The last conversation I had with him, he was going to extend his contract with us and he wanted to go for the next World Cup. He is going to play for us for the next few years. He loves rugby union, he is settled in Bath and he knows he is a six.

He said to me, ‘I know I am a six.’ He enjoys being a six, he enjoys the game better because he is more involved.

Burgess always seemed to be a square peg in a round hole in the England centres, trying to fill a problem position for Lancaster's squad instead of competing with the likes of Tom Croft, Tom Wood, James Haskell in the back-row.

It's a move that should suit everyone involved, not least Burgess - and it's interesting to reflect that despite the outcry from international media over Gordon D'Arcy's article - that the man himself seems to agree that he's not a centre.

I know I am a six.

[The Times (€)]

See Also: Just One Clip Is Needed To Vindicate Gordon D'Arcy About Sam Burgess

Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE

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