Luther Burrell: Northampton centre has no Sam Burgess grudge

Luther Burrell and Sam Burgess
Luther Burrell and Sam Burgess were both involved in England's World Cup warm-up squad

Luther Burrell says he has no issue with Sam Burgess over the rugby league convert's England World Cup selection.

England left Northampton centre Burrell, 27, out of the squad in favour of Burgess, 26, who has since returned to league with South Sydney Rabbitohs.

"I have got no grudge against Sam. He didn't put himself in the team. He had an opportunity of a lifetime and he was able to live that dream," said Burrell.

"I had to get behind the team, stomach what happened and try to support them."

Burgess featured in England's opening three World Cup matches before being dropped for the final fixture against Uruguay as the side went out in the group stages.

He subsequently left Premiership side Bath just one year into a three-year deal earlier this month to return to Sydney.

"He's gone back to a game he probably knows better and probably is better suited to. He's a fantastic icon in Australia and Sydney and he's going to be a huge asset in rugby league," Burrell, capped 13 times by England, told BBC Radio Northampton.

"I put on the TV and watch the NRL and get behind him and his brothers. He's a player that grew up not so far from me in west Yorkshire so we've known about each other for a while.

"For me it was about wishing him the best of luck, my issue wasn't with him whatsoever."

Burrell, who has been at Saints since 2012, admitted he struggled to deal with being dropped by then head coach Stuart Lancaster, who left his post earlier this month.

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Remembering the meeting with Lancaster, Burrell said: "As soon as I walked through the door I knew, I could feel it in the air, I could see it in his face.

"I just kind of sat there in silence, just let him speak and he told me. I just got up and left, trying to hold back my emotion, but I found that very difficult.

"Mentally, I was gone. I was broken. I was the one who was pretty broken down in that room."

And Burrell said of Lancaster: "He let me down. That is how I feel about him.

"I have known Stuart a long time. I have a huge amount of respect for the bloke, what he's done and what he has achieved.

"I didn't think I had done anything to justify not getting selected."

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