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So Cheerio, Mr Burgess

You didn’t want him to go, but we’re kinda glad he did.

Nothing has didvided opinion since he arrived like Sam Burgess. Undoubtedly a God of a rugby footballer, he’s just what you want on the field – a warrior, built like the proverbial outhouse, with handling skills to match the best of the All Blacks.

But a centre? Or a No.6? Think a square peg into a round hole.

Obviously he was rushed through, and it was clear that he was far too inexperienced to make the final squad. But we needed leaders, so we were told. That’s where Sam would come in.

However, what we actually needed was someone with a bit of experience in playing Rugby Union. Luther Burrell must be spitting feathers at missing out entirely, while overlooking Henry Slade for the important matches was criminal.

In his defence, his defence against Jamie Roberts in the Welsh game was great, nulifying a magnificent Lions centre – that Roberts made gainline successes only after Burgess was substituted probably says it all. But we needed more than a brick wall.

What hasn’t been told is how much influence the RFU had on selection. They were supposedly paying a chunk of his wages at Bath, and so presumably wanted a return on their investment. Did Stuart Lancaster actually want him in the squad, or did he have to follow orders? Who made the decision within the RFU?

All in all, it’s a sad affair, and we’re just glad it’s all over, just to stop all the media bleating. Draw a line under it, dont be so stupid again, and get on with playing the kind of rugby that will win us a Six Nations Championship. One step at a time. The World Cup can wait until the existing players are ready. No parachutees required.

 

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