Thursday 22 March 2018

Burrell content going under radar

Luther Burrell is happy to see Jonathan Joseph take the plaudits
Luther Burrell is happy to see Jonathan Joseph take the plaudits

Luther Burrell is happy for Jonathan Joseph to continue taking centre stage as England seek to land a telling blow in their pursuit of the RBS 6 Nations title by toppling Ireland.

The Aviva Stadium will host the showdown between the tournament's only unbeaten teams on Sunday, with the winner expected to be crowned champions knowing a Grand Slam is also within reach.

Joseph has been the star of the tournament to date with his three tries against Wales and Italy earning comparisons with Jeremy Guscott, although the Bath great believes his successor in the number 13 jersey could be even better.

In contrast Burrell has been forced to make the hard yards at inside centre while his midfield partner captures imaginations, but it is a role with which the Northampton Saint is comfortable.

"Jonathan is an exciting player and is great to watch. We need to give him the ball in space," Burrell said.

"As a pairing we are quite cohesive, we understand what each other's roles are and it is pretty enjoyable.

"I don't mind going under the radar - it takes the spotlight off me a little bit. It is fantastic Jonathan is getting the attention because he has been in fantastic form - not just for us but for Bath as well.

"I'm six foot three and 17 stones so for me it's about the gain line - that is how the international game goes.

"It is about winning that gain line, getting front-foot ball and getting your forwards into the game.

"Hopefully I will able to bring that, be solid in defence and make sure Jonathan and I have got that cohesive bond. Hopefully we can start some fireworks."

Burrell knows England will face a partisan crowed in Dublin but believes they should draw confidence from their defeat of Wales at the Millennium Stadium in the Six Nations opener.

"We know the whole Irish country are going to be behind their team and we are going to be up against it, just as we were in Wales," Burrell said.

"If you didn't relish that you'd be in the wrong game. It's a huge challenge. We saw it against Wales and it's the same as when teams come to Twickenham - they want to upset our party just as we want to go away and upset their party.

"As a group of players we know we are going to have to be 100 per cent on our game to go there and win because not many players go there and win.

"Obviously we have got that belief as a group of players. We are confident in our game plan and what the coaches have implemented. Everybody's itching now to get started and get stuck in.

"It's obviously a huge game but every game in this tournament is massive for us. Will winning make us champions? No."

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