England's Sam Burgess will remain in rugby union, insists Stuart Lancaster
Last Updated: 06/10/15 6:05pm
England head coach Stuart Lancaster is convinced Sam Burgess will remain a rugby union player, despite growing speculation he will return to rugby league after the World Cup.
One bookmaker has stopped taking bets on Burgess switching back to the 13-man code amid reports he is set to join Leeds Rhinos from Premiership club Bath.
England crashed out of the World Cup with a 33-13 defeat to Australia on Saturday and Burgess' contribution to the group campaign was one start and two replacement appearances.
The 26-year-old Yorkshireman has been dropped from the matchday 23 for Saturday's final match against Uruguay in Manchester with some commentators believing he has made his last Red Rose appearance.
Lancaster, however, insists Burgess will not be ending his three-and-a-half-year contract after only 12 months.
"I've not had any conversations with him about a move to rugby league at all," Lancaster said.
"Genuinely, 100 per cent I didn't know that story was out there. My last conversation with him was about him going back to Bath. He can't wait to get stuck into the Premiership.
"He feels he's made good strides as a player and he wants to continue to improve. Bath will be delighted to have him back and I can't see anything changing in that regard."
Lancaster offered a glimpse into England's future by naming a midfield trio of George Ford, Owen Farrell and Henry Slade against Uruguay.
"Sam wasn't picked because I want to have a look at this combination for this game," Lancaster said.
"I've watched George and Owen since they were 18 and looked at them as an option and combination. Slade has had to wait but he's a great one for the future.
"It's an exciting selection. George, Owen, Henry - these guys are great players and will be great players for the future.
"We looked at them in training. Now we have so many ball players in our backline we're wondering who is going to carry the ball!"