The Courier-Mail

SAM HAS WHAT IT TAKES

- IAIN PAYTEN

MUCH of the United Kingdom remains torn on the selection of Sam Burgess in England’s Rugby World Cup squad and whether the former Rabbitohs star will prove an asset or liability for the host nation at centre.

But as far as England’s main rival in the pool of death goes, there is no question mark attached to picking a big-game player like Burgess (below).

“I am sure he will be a difference for England at some stage of the competitio­n,” Wallabies utility back Kurtley Beale said. “He has been in pressure situations before.

“He has been at a World Cup in rugby league and played in some big games there against some of the world’s best in their game.

“He understand­s what is required.”

Burgess made his Test debut at No.12 against France two weeks ago, and respected voices such as Will Carling and Brian O’Driscoll declared he was not ready for the Cup.

But Beale pointed to the events of 11 months ago – just before Burgess’s switch – as evidence of why he could handle the World Cup.

“Obviously he is a great athlete, isn’t he?” Beale said.

“He achieved a lot of things in rugby league and bringing the (NRL) trophy back to Redfern after so many years was a great achievemen­t, and he played an integral part of that.”

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