Freddie Burns is eager to take his chance with England this summer

Last Updated: 24/05/13 9:06am

Freddie Burns is determined to stake his claim for the England fly-half shirt this summer - starting against the Barbarians at Twickenham on Sunday.

The Gloucester fly-half will be handed the reins for England's clash with the Barbarians and their two-Test tour of Argentina, with Saracens' Owen Farrell on British & Irish Lions duty and Leicester's Toby Flood given the summer off.

Burns made his international debut as a substitute in England's famous win over the All Blacks last autumn, but a knee injury and the form of Farrell and Flood has prevented him from adding to his international experience since.

So the 23-year-old sees this summer as the perfect chance to prove he is a serious rival to Farrell and Flood for the England No.10 jersey.

Burns told the Rugby Club: "I am very excited.

"The Barbarians have so many great players on their team and for me it is a great chance to go out and show that I can control a game from 10, and to build a bit of confidence and momentum for the South American tour.

"My role is always going to be to manage the game first and foremost. It is important that we play in the right areas of the pitch and when we get there, we've picked a squad that can definitely create and score tries.

"So I am looking to control the game and when we do get into the right areas try to bring that attacking game that I have got and try to use it to England's advantage."


After struggling for form following his knee injury in January, Burns believes is close to his best and confident he can show his potential this summer.

"I had many chats with [Gloucester coach] Nigel Davies and it was trying to pick up from where I had left off," he said. "But sometimes you have to step back and let the game unfold and things will happen for you.

"It was tough after the injury but I found my form towards the end of the season, especially in the Saracens game and I am just going to try to take the last two games of the season into the tour with me."

Like England, Argentina have assembled a squad which is short of a number of first-choice players as they prepare for the Rugby Championship later in the summer.

But Burns insists England will not underestimate the Pumas, when the Test series begins in Salta in two weeks' time.

"Whoever the Argentinians pick, playing them in their backyard is always going to be a tough prospect," he added. "So whoever plays and is picked, it is going to be a tough game.

"You always want to play against the best but I sure those players stepping in will do a good job for them and we are under no illusions as to how tough this tour is going to be."