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No fast track for new recruit Sam Burgess says England manager

| 18.02.2014

Rugby Union new boy Sam Burgess will not be instantly handed the keys to the international set-up, according to England manager Stuart Lancaster.

Burgess recently joined the likes of Jason Robinson and Sonny Bill Williams in switching codes and while Lancaster believes he will be a success at new club Bath, the England boss says the 25-year-old will have to prove himself like anyone else.

Ladbrokes make the current South Sydney Rabbitohs forward a 1/2 shot to make the 2015 England Rugby Union World Cup squad, but Lancaster insists it remains an outside chance at best and claims the player has no hope whatsoever of making the earlier Six Nations cut.

“I can’t see for one minute that Sam Burgess is going to be in that squad having played two months of rugby union,” he said.

“If he makes the transition smoothly and effectively and begins to play well during the second half of that season, then there is an outside chance he could make the World Cup training squad.”

Should  Burgess prove Lancaster wrong and play his way into World Cup recognition, then Ladbrokes make it a 12/1 shot that he ends the tournament as England’s top tryscorer, while 50/1 says he crosses the line more times than anyone else in the 2015 competition.

Lancaster’s claims have been backed up by 2003 World Cup winner Matt Dawson who told the BBC that 2019 is a more realistic goal for Burgess’ international aspirations, but the popular consensus is that  Bath have got a top talent on their hands, with the Yorkshireman set to be a domestic success.

Ladbrokes have Burgess priced at just 4/1 to be Bath’s top tryscorer in next season’s Aviva Premiership but with recent comments casting doubt over the player’s immediate international future the former Bradford youngster has it all to prove over the coming months.

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

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James Curtis

After studying for a degree in journalism and gaining his NCTJ, James contributed to a wide range of papers, online publications and broadcasters including the South London Press, Press Association and Sky Sports News before joining the Ladbrokes News team.