Former Irish Centre, Gordon D’Arcy, has argued that Sam Burgess lacks timing in both attack and defence.
Writing today in The Irish Times, Gordon D’Arcy was scathing in his criticism of Sam Burgess and Stuart Lancaster’s decision to select him.
D’Arcy argued ‘It’s simply not possible for him to be ready. And now we have proof’. Significantly the Leinster centre pointed to Sonny Bill Williams time at Toulon, in which he received daily tutorials from Tana Umaga for over two years.
In contrast D’Arcy stated ‘Sam Burgess only arrived at a Bath training session last October’. The centre also recalled his own transition from the back three to midfield which took three years.
I only started playing centre in 2004. It took until the 2007 World Cup before I felt properly attuned to the nuances of the position and comfortable playing Test matches in the 12 jersey.
As Burgess is not acquainted with the inside centre position, D’Arcy argues,
Burgess lacks the sense of timing, in attack and defence, required to be effective at international level. His naivety embarrassed those around him and severely damaged England’s chances of reaching the quarter-finals.
While D’Arcy acknowledges that Burgess performance must be seen within the context of his limited experience, the 2005 and 2009 Lion was scathing of Stuart Lancaster’s decision to select the League convert.
Stuart Lancaster picked a league convert who doesn’t know how to play inside centre for the biggest match England have played since the 2007 World Cup final. To compound the problem, Brad Barritt was out of position at 13 and exposed accordingly when it mattered most.
Although many argued before the World Cup that Lancaster’s future would be determined by England’s performance at the tournament, few would have predicted that his fate maybe intrinsically linked to Sam Burgess inexperience.
Alan Drumm, Pundit Arena