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Friday Oct 31, 2014

Chat with League convert Sam Burgess upon his arrival at Bath Rugby

Chat with League convert Sam Burgess upon his arrival at Bath Rugby
10
Comments

Sam Burgess has arrived in Bath, ready to get stuck into training and rugby union. His move is the most talked about code swap since Sonny Bill Williams, and could possibly prove to be as effective. He was injured in the NRL Grand Final, but hopes to play again before the end of the year.

Nick from Rugby Media caught up with the much hyped about league legend to hear how he is feeling ahead of what should be a challenging few months, as he gets to grips with rugby union. 

Do you think his transition into the sport will be smooth sailing, or he’ll take some time to find his feet and cement a position? Will he play for England eventually?

10 Comments

  • danknapp
    6:23 PM 01/11/2014

    I don't think Lancaster would risk him unless he was sure. Burgess will have to work really hard to make a quick impact, and I can't see Lancaster taking him unless Burgess immediately starts scoring a lot of tries and proving to be a raw talent. I would expect that we won't see Burgess in 2015, but probably the 6 Nations after it.

    Reply
  • corrie
    11:34 AM 01/11/2014

    He will have to learn not to go high when hr runs. Good centers will expose his high action. He will have to learn the union way of going into at tackle. I still see it as a bit of a risk one year from a WC. I would not fiddle with my center pairing so close to a big tourney if I was the coach especially with an unproven league convert.

    Reply
  • danknapp
    8:06 AM 01/11/2014

    The Aussie FOX network made an awesome document about Sam Burgess. Well worth a watch to see just what kind of a guy he is. It's schmaltzy but nice. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNVUwyFox5s

    Reply
  • 10stonenumber10
    8:41 PM 31/10/2014

    Forwards do most of the ball carrying in League. Work rate won't be an issue, or fitness, League is far more intense than union... maybe not compared to the tight 5, but on average you work a lot harder, whether you have the ball or not. The hardest thing to adapt to will be the breakdown. Hands etc. are an obvious law, but again, learning to play against team mates doesn't prepare for opposition. Across a season, a lot of lessons will be learned. Like driving, it isn't so much about knowing the rules of the road as it is preparing yourself for the other people who use it. No doubt he a solid performer, but even the great SBW was exposed on more than one occasion during the 2011 world cup, and with less than a year to re-adapt to union, hopefully teams will find a notch in the armour. With Nonu and Smith as effective as ever, with Ben Smith, Fekitoa and Crotty around too, where realistically would he be? Neither have a kicking game to speak of... but the way they play, who needs it? Optimus Prime vs Megatron. Big shoutout to ITV for agreeing to broadcast every game on terrestrial + free view.

    Reply
  • hellraiser_rob
    7:30 PM 31/10/2014

    I'm really looking forward to seeing Sam play union, can you imagine him coming onto those short balls from Ford! I watch a lot of league, including the rabbitohs games, the man has got talent, you just don't dominate a competition like the NRL without being a freak. Someone asks what makes him so great apart from size? For such a big man he's also got great footwork, good pace, engine, ball skills, and the obvious ones of strength and defence. In someone so big, these combinations are pretty rare. Obviously in league he's been a forward, and it will be interesting if they get him to drop some weight if they want him at 12/13

    Reply
  • reality
    6:55 PM 31/10/2014

    Is he really comparable to Sonny Bill Williams? Williams' one trait of note (albeit massively effective) was his ability to offload in the tackle, but unless I'm mistaken he's not really above average for anything else. Unless Burgess is also able to offload as effectively (I don't watch league so I don't know) then the only thing they have in common is a shared league background. From watching videos of Burgess he seems to just be massive and can break through tackles really well, which is not at all the way Williams plays. Williams' offloading is pretty unique and is effective against anyone he plays. Burgess's power though isn't exactly unique, and if he plays against Jamie Roberts or Mathieu Bastareaud that power will just be negated. As well, the Youtube montages of his tackles are all just league-style shoulder charges, so he'll probably just end up getting a load of yellow cards in union. That's the impression I get, anyway. Maybe I'll be very wrong in a few months' time.

    Reply
  • friedrich
    4:05 PM 31/10/2014

    He looks like Gavin Henson. Maybe photoshoot with Gav' and a social media-campaign to raise awareness and money for a good cause, let's say cancer?

    Reply
  • 10stonenumber10
    2:01 PM 31/10/2014

    The only pairing I can think of that are anywhere near them would be Nonu and Sonny-Bill. They were devastating, but again, I feel it is a case of "Do what they did" rather than "Do our own thing" Very rarely can you beat something by copying it. Direct rugby works, an 80 minute beating is long to get through for anybody... you can have a box of tricks 12ft deep when it comes to handling, but stopping an 18st bloke at full tilt only gets harder as the game goes on. We would all like to see fluid end to end running rugby, but it is a completely different kind of game if you want to win. Nullify, and jump on mistakes, a negative game plan, but one of the most effective in world rugby.

    Reply
  • notawelshdavies
    1:27 PM 31/10/2014

    I reckon England need to embrace the fact that we will never be able to match the All Blacks and the Wallabies for running rugby, and turn to Tuilagi and Burgess in the centre. Farrell will be able to facilitate boring rugby far more than an open style of play (although he is taking the ball up to the line more recently) Who's going to want to line up against them?

    Reply
  • jimmy23
    12:59 PM 31/10/2014

    Well if the transition goes well, as Hape said he could very well be our own SBW. His physical prowess and offloading could make him a great option for 12. Him and Tuilagi paired up could be quite a scary, if not subtle, prospect. Also, from what I've seen in league (not a huge amount admittedly) he's outplayed SBW, could end up being more of a threat? I don't know if that's a fair statement to make though, maybe someone with a bit more knowledge in League could enlighten me on that?

    Reply


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