Ford says England ‘lost control’ of Burgess saga

The former club coach of Sam Burgess has revealed he believes the English national team ‘lost control’ of the signature of the star to rugby union.

Bath’s Mike Ford, who coached Burgess throughout his time in union, says that England played him in a completely different position to the one Bath wanted to play him, and blamed England for losing control of the high-profile switch.

And Ford also believes Burgess should never have even got the call to make the England squad for the Rugby World Cup, which took place earlier this year.

“He shouldn’t have been picked in the World Cup squad in the first place,” Ford told The Daily Telegraph.

“He couldn’t get in our team at centre and there he was starting against Wales.

“If there had ever been a share between Union and club, then we might not have signed Sam as we didn’t ever see him as a centre that would suit our style of play,

“England lost control of the signing of Sam and, with it, a direct say in where he would play.

“For us, he was a back-row forward. He wouldn’t have got in our midfield, where we had Kyle Eastmond and Jonathan Joseph.

“Of course, he did play there for us at the start, but that was because Joseph was a surprise call-up for the Six Nations. But for the last eight games of the season, Sam was in the back row for us, including the Premiership final.”