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Sam Burgess ready to start for England against Wales

Sam Burgess has declared himself ready to start for England if needed for Saturday's pivotal World Cup clash with Wales at Twickenham.

Burgess, who has spent only 10 months in union, could be promoted from the bench after his direct running helped reinvigorate the hosts in the final quarter of the bonus-point victory over Fiji.

The 26-year-old's chances have also been improved by the disappointing evening endured by Brad Barritt, who has only recently recovered from a calf problem.

It would be a big call for head coach Stuart Lancaster to pick him from the start knowing he would line up opposite British and Irish Lions centre Jamie Roberts, but Burgess has the conviction that he would flourish.

"I enjoyed my performance and I thought I added something to the team," Burgess said.

"The boys before me had laid a great foundation so that we were able to come on and finish the job off.

"Yes of course I feel ready, I feel comfortable. I've been around this group a long time now.

"We believe in each other and we believe in ourselves, that's certainly the case for myself.

"You want everyone to do well and that's the great thing about this squad. If I was handed the chance, then sure, I feel ready."

Owen Farrell, who also impressed as a second-half replacement in the 35-11 victory over Fiji, started alongside Burgess in the first warm-up match against France and was part of a promising midfield trio that also included Henry Slade.

"Sam's ready to start, that's why he's here. He wouldn't have been picked otherwise," Farrell said.

"Sam's a brilliant rugby player. He's a leader in the team and I am sure he would be massively confident as well. He's played well all year for Bath. He's gone well in all the games he has played in the warm-ups."


From Belfast Telegraph