Luther Burrell deserves his England recall, says Will Greenwood
Last Updated: 22/02/16 10:57pm
Will Greenwood says Luther Burrell "thoroughly deserves" his England recall and believes he could come into the match-day 23 for Saturday's clash with Ireland.
Burrell replaced the concussed Ollie Devoto in Eddie Jones' squad and is in line to make his first appearance since the World Cup warm-up against France.
The Northampton centre was omitted from England's World Cup squad with Stuart Lancaster instead selecting Sam Burgess.
Greenwood felt that snub affected the 28-year-old's form but he told Rugby Club Wrap-up that Burrell is returning to his best form.
The World Cup winner said: "Burrell was hugely disappointed and made those feelings clear in the media after the World Cup.
Burrell's strength is gain line, offload and big tackles. He has gone back to that and thoroughly deserves his place in the England squad.
"Post-World Cup, Stuart Lancaster's decision was, to a degree, vindicated. We don't know what effect not making the World Cup had on his performances. It was a hugely deflationary factor and his performances at Northampton weren't great through November and December.
"Burrell was playing in midfield with George Pisi and on the bench was a young Harry Mallinder, who came on to score the winner in round five of the Champions Cup.
"From there, Luther was dropped to the bench, with Mallinder picked at 12. That seems to have been the kick up the backside for him.
"Who knows what ignites your passion and intensity for the game but Luther's recent games, specifically against Quins and in defeat against Newcastle, were really strong.
"He has stopped trying to be the all-court player. He is not a distributor. Of course he can pass but that is not his strength. His strength is gain line, offload and big tackles. He has gone back to that and thoroughly deserves his place in the England squad.
"Devoto was in the 23-man squad for the Scotland game and with George Ford and Owen Farrell at 10 and 12, someone who can cover the inside centre position has to be in the squad," Greenwood added.
"If Ford gets injured, Farrell moves to 10. We don't want to move Jonathan Joseph to 12 and Jack Nowell to 13.
"If Eddie Jones goes with a 5-3 split this week, then Burrell could come straight back into the 23-man squad."