Rugby league is not about skills, it is a game designed to hurt people. That was Jones’s opinion of the rival sport when asked about his thoughts on Sam Burgess’s failed attempt to play in rugby union.
In 2014, Burgess decided to walk away from the South Sydney Rabbitohs to represent England at the 2015 World Cup. Despite making the starting XV, he was blamed for the poor showing at the tournament when England were dumped out in the pool stages.
Jones went on to say that England had a confused strategy at the World Cup, in which Sam was a non-event. Burgess was a member of a squad that holds the record of registering the worst result by a host country in the history of World Cup rugby. This made him a scapegoat and eventually, Burgess returned to play in the NRL for the next season.
Although Burgess was attacked by Jones, the 27-year-old Rabbitohs star was paid a compliment as Jones said that he would have been a great Test player if he had stuck at it. The comments from England coach come when another rugby league star Ben Te’o is about to make his debut for England against the Wallabies on Saturday night.
The Aussies would be taking a big risk if they play Israel Folau at a central position instead of his more familiar full-back role in the Brisbane Test on Saturday, believes England’s center Jonathan Joseph.
Despite the fact that Folau has spent most of his career playing at full-back, NSW Waratahs’ trainer Daryl Gibson has played the 27-year-old in a midfield position this year.
Bath Rugby ace Joseph believes that Folau is a greater threat as a full-back, where he is at his counter-attacking best. The Wallabies head coach should utilize Folau’s strengths and play him in his accustomed position.
Joseph also added that he was thrilled by the prospect of playing alongside Ben Te’o, who is all set to debut for England at inside center. He believes Ben is a great addition to the squad as his off-loading games are good and he is defensively very tough.
While English coach Eddie Jones is likely to have Maro Itoje as the blindside flanker, Itoje’s teammate Mako Vunipola says that it could be a great move as it would give an extra lineout option. Itoje is a good player with the ability to carry and tackle hard.
The first of the three Tests will start on June 10 followed by the Melbourne Test on June 18 and the Sydney Test on June 25.