Sunday 24 September 2017

Burgess needs time to make 'courageous' switch work

30 January 2015; Sam Burgess, England Saxons. Ireland Wolfhounds v England Saxons, International Friendly. Irish Independent Park, Cork. Picture credit: Matt Browne / SPORTSFIL
30 January 2015; Sam Burgess, England Saxons. Ireland Wolfhounds v England Saxons, International Friendly. Irish Independent Park, Cork. Picture credit: Matt Browne / SPORTSFIL

Johny O'Connor

If there is anyone I feel sorry for in English rugby at the moment, it has to be Sam Burgess.

He was set up for a fall coming over here with the Saxons just five games into his union career; he had a great reputation in rugby league but this is a different game and it was a courageous move.

I'd love to see him given a chance, though - he has only been playing the game a few months but the English media are already tearing the guys to shreds. Every pass, tackle and ruck he hits is dissected.

Against the Wolfhounds he was lining up against one of the most capped inside-centres of all time in Gordon D'Arcy - what do you expect?

It was all doom and gloom, with people calling him a flop but I think people need to give him a bit more time. I'm sure the World Cup was a big target for him when moving to union, but let's see if he can settle into the game first.

There have been failures with players swapping codes but when you see successes like Sonny Bill Williams, Israel Folau and Jason Robinson there will always be an appetite for a move like his. He needs time.

Irish Independent

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