“I know I am a six.”
The England saga seems to be developing further every day.
First we had Headphonegate, then the confirmation of a pre-tournament row between Mike Catt and Danny Cipriani, then reports of mutiny. Now, Bath coach Mike Ford can come out with the revelation that Sam Burgess has “always been a flanker”.
Ford has also stated that Burgess is committed to his rugby union career and has no intention of reconverting to league with the Leeds Rhinos.
Apparently he is aiming to be in the England back-row for the 2019 World Cup in Japan.
Ford’s interview in The Times today will only raise more questions about why Burgess, who was playing league with the South Sydney Rabbitohs a year ago, was included as a centre in the England squad.
“Proving he is an international back-rower is the big challenge now for Sam,” Ford said. “He’s always been a No 6 for us, no question. We’ve talked about next time the England squad gets selected, his goal’s got to be to be there as a six.
“The last conversation I had with him, he was going to extend his contract with us and he wanted to go for the next World Cup. He is going to play for us for the next few years. He loves rugby union, he is settled in Bath and he knows he is a six.
“He said to me, ‘I know I am a six.’ He enjoys being a six, he enjoys the game better because he is more involved.”
Ford also went on to rule himself out of contention for the England job.
“I’d be stupid to leave Bath. I love it here. Everything’s in place. The ambition, the facilities, the team I have around me, the coaches, and I’ve re-signed players on the basis that I am selling them a vision for the next four years. And I haven’t won anything. I want to win things with Bath rugby.
“This is completely the right place for me at the moment. The England job is a fantastic job, but it’s not right for me at this moment in time and it’s Stuart’s now, anyway.”