Union and league star Scott Quinnell looks at where Sam Burgess would play if he converted to the 15-man game

Last Updated: 14/02/14 10:40am

Despite the South Sydney Rabbitohs saying that no approach has been made, reports suggest that rugby league international Sam Burgess is in talks with Bath to switch codes.

Currently playing in the NRL for the Rabbitohs, reports also suggest that the RFU are getting involved and will pay for Burgess to be released from his contract and fast track him into the EPS.

England coach Stuart Lancaster says that it is all hypothetical and speculation at the moment but did point out that rugby league converts have made the switch successfully.

"If you sign him now, I don't believe he could play in the next World Cup - you would sign him up now for the World Cup in 2019."

Scott Quinnell

However Scott Quinnell who went from union to league and back again says that it will take a long time to get Burgess up to scratch for the 15 man game.

"Burgess is a big man and he's got power in abundance - I would like to see what kind of pace he has got because that would determine where he would play," said Quinnell on The Rugby Club.

"Is he to play No.6 or No12? There would have to be a lot of work put in to get him up to scratch. If you sign him now, I don't believe he could play in the next World Cup - you would sign him up now for the World Cup in 2019.


"I went to rugby league - I had played rugby union all my life and when I came back my father watched me play against Coventry in my first game back.

He said 'Scott what are you doing - you have to run after the ball in this game'.

"I had forgotten that in two years, so how long is he going to take to pick up the nuances of the game, the laws, the rucks and the mauls, tackling with your arms - it is going to be very difficult."

Stuart Barnes agrees: "He can't play in the backrow - remember the Andy Farrell scenario? It was an absolute farce. The backrow is the most intricate thing in rugby union - when do you hit a ruck and when don't you. It is the most horrendous muscular chess in the world.

"You have to be really clever to get that right - so the only position he can play is 12. You can't just walk in from league into union.

"Bath signed Henry Paul and they signed Jason Robinson. Henry Paul never got to grips with the game because he was a 10, 12 - a decision maker. Jason Robinson went on to be one of England's greatest ever back three players but he was a back three player and they are worlds apart."