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Moody: RWC too soon for Burgess

Rugby World Cup 2015 will come "far too soon" for rugby league convert Sam Burgess, according to Lewis Moody.

World Cup-winner Moody believes Bath signing Burgess could struggle to master union's complexities and break into Stuart Lancaster's England squad in time for next year's global tournament.

League sensation Burgess will swap Sydney for the south west next month, arriving at the Recreation Ground on October 15.

Bath will pitch Burgess into action in the centres, with head coach Mike Ford still confident the 25-year-old will flourish in the back-row in time.

Former Leicester and Bath flanker Moody, part of England's triumphant 2003 squad, believes next year's World Cup may be just out of reach for Burgess.

"There's a lot of interest and excitement around Sam's arrival, on how he'll fit into the Bath squad and what will happen with England," Moody told Press Association Sport.

"Will they put him straight into the squad? With the way Stuart's been I find it hard to imagine that they would include him straight away.

"Going back to 2003 Josh Lewsey hadn't played many games for England going into the Six Nations.

"So there's always a chance for him, but I think the World Cup will be far too soon.

"But that won't be down to coaches or other players, it will be down to Sam and how quickly he fits into the game.

"I'm sure he'll have been doing his homework on rucking and mauling, offside lines and dark arts, because it's a very different game."

Burgess has proved an Australian sensation in four years at NRL outfit South Sydney, but will have just nine months to handle his code switch in time to make England's World Cup squad.

England launch their World Cup bid on home soil on September 18 next year, but head coach Lancaster will have his extended training squad in place by July.

Moody expects Burgess to thrive in union in the long-term, but believes his line-breaking talents will be best employed from the centres, not the back-row.

"Back-row is such a technical position and there's such a lot to learn, it's not just broken-field play, you've got the breakdown, scrum and line-out," he said.

"I think back-row might be slightly too complicated, and will take some time to learn.

"Andy Farrell was moved between six and 12 when he came over from league and it didn't really fit.

"So if they just stick him at 12 and give him the opportunity to play and stick with that, then it will be far better for him than trying to move him into the forwards.

"I think Kyle Eastmond has done pretty well at the breakdown in his transition with Bath and England.

"He's squat and powerful, so he has the ability to make the tackle, get back to his feet and get over the ball, so he's been useful there.

"The technical side of the game is tough, but I'd imagine they'll keep it pretty simple for Sam at Bath straight away."

Land Rover ambassador Moody got his hands on the Webb Ellis Cup again at Twickenham, admitting World Cup fever is already hitting home.

"I found out for the first time you're only allowed to handle the World Cup with your bare hands if you've won it," he said.

"So that's a nice touch that just brings home that achievement back in Australia in 2003 really.

"It was such a special part of my life and it's great to be able to look back on it with very fond memories.

"I would give anything to play a part in a World Cup in my own backyard, and hopefully England can go and achieve something special on home soil."

:: Lewis Moody was speaking on behalf of Land Rover, Official Vehicle Partner of Premiership Rugby and Official Worldwide Partner of Rugby World Cup 2015.

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