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England snatch rugby league star in bid to boost World Cup hopes

| 06.02.2014

 England have boosted their bid to win the Rugby Union World Cup after convincing rugby league star Sam Burgess to cross codes later this year, according to the Daily Mail.

The South Sydney Rabbitohs star has agreed to move to the 15-man game and will be fast-tracked by England into their plans for the 2015 World Cup, which they are 7/1 with Ladbrokes to win.

The 25-year-old was one the stars of the recent Rugby League World Cup producing a man of the match display in England’s last-gasp defeat to New Zealand.

And the England management, in particular former cross-code stalwart and now rugby union coach Andy Farrell, have identified him as the man who can fill the troublesome inside centre position and be a superstar at the World Cup for the Red Rose outfit.

The fee for the former Bradford Bulls forward is thought to be in the region of £500,000 and will be paid partly by the RFU and by an Aviva Premiership club, thought to be Bath.

Burgess’ Australian manager James Erskine has revealed no deal is yet in place but he believes Rabbitohs co-owner, Hollywood legend Russell Crowe, would not stand in the way of the move.

Meanwhile, Stuart Lancaster has named an unnamed team for his side’s Six Nations clash against Scotland on Saturday.

As reported by our news team yesterday Lancaster has given the players who suffered an agonising defeat in Paris another chance at Murrayfield against the Scots.

Jonny May is deemed fit to keep his place on the left wing despite breaking his nose early on in the clash against the French, while Wasps star Matt Mullins will travel with the squad as cover.

England are 1/6 with Ladbrokes for victory in Edinburgh on Saturday with Scotland the 4/1 outsiders to win the Calcutta Cup.

England XV v Scotland: Mike Brown (Harlequins), Jack Nowell (Exeter), Luther Burrell (Northampton), Billy Twelvetrees (Gloucester), Jonny May (Gloucester), Owen Farrell (Saracens), Danny Care (Harlequins); Joe Marler (Harlequins), Dylan Hartley (Northampton), Dan Cole (Leicester), Joe Launchbury (London Wasps), Courtney Lawes (Northampton), Tom Wood (Northampton), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins, capt), Billy Vunipola.

Replacements: Tom Youngs (Leicester), Mako Vunipola (Saracens), Henry Thomas (Sale), Dave Attwood (Bath), Ben Morgan (Gloucester), Lee Dickson (Northampton), Brad Barritt (Saracens), Alex Goode (Saracens).

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Oliver Yew