Can Sam Burgess inspire England to World Cup victory?

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Can Sam Burgess inspire England to World Cup victory?
The Rugby World Cup is officially underway and hosts England will be keen to reach the latter stages of the competition on home soil. Stuart Lancaster’s side opened the tournament with a bonus point victory over Fiji last Friday and the hosts will need to improve if they are to achieve their ultimate goal of World Cup glory.
In their opener, England played some decent rugby at times but were sloppy in possession and needed additional time after the 80 minute mark to secure the bonus point win. Lancaster’s men showed glimpses throughout the match but will need much more than that to beat the likes of Wales and Australia in their remaining Pool fixtures.
In fact, it could be argued that England’s substitutes were the key performers in their opening victory and Lancaster has rewarded both Owen Farrell and Sam Burgess with starts in their next encounter with Wales, which will take place on Saturday evening. At the time of writing, England are priced at 2/7 with Coral to win that match – a result that would cement their position at the top of Pool A.
Farrell, who plays his club rugby for Aviva Premiership side Saracens, is one of the most experienced members of the England squad and will help to control and dominate the kicking game. With Leigh Halfpenny out of the competition, Lancaster may try to target Wales’ replacement full-back in order to exploit their main weaknesses.
Burgess, meanwhile, is one of the game’s most iconic figures and has played both rugby league and union. The former Bradford Bulls star changed the game when he came on against Fiji, providing England with a new, unique dimension in both attack and defence. In a way, he performed a little like fellow cross-code star Sonny Bill Williams, who is competing for defending champions New Zealand.
It would be foolish to suggest that the Bath centre can have the same level of impact as the All Blacks star but there’s no doubt that Burgess is an incredibly talented union player. His ability to offload and create space for his team-mates is one of his greatest attributes but is also competent on the defensive side of the ball.
Burgess is an impact player and, although some have criticised Lancaster’s choice to select the former league man, he is capable of producing a moment of genius and could be the difference for England throughout the competition. With a bit of luck and the advantage of home soil, Lancaster’s men could go on to win the tournament and Burgess will be one of the most influential players if they are to lift the trophy on October 31st.

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