Sam Burgess: Bath player ready to 'knuckle down' after debut

Burgess 'got monkey off his back'

Sam Burgess is focused on mastering playing at centre after making his Bath debut.

The former rugby league star, 25, came on in the 63rd minute as the home side eased to a 25-6 win over Harlequins.

He told BBC Sport: "I think centre is best for now, but as I keep picking things up about the game we'll keep working on things."

After making his debut, Burgess also admitted to thinking about playing in the Rugby World Cup.

"I think everyone's got an eye on the World Cup," Burgess said. "I'm not going to be naive and dismiss it, but it would be stupid to waste energy looking at that.

"I'm using all my energy to focus on training here with the guys, knuckling down and working hard with my team-mates at Bath."

The former South Sydney Rabbitohs player had only resumed training recently, having fractured a cheekbone in the opening minute of his side's NRL Grand Final win last month.

Sam Burgess career
Born: Dewsbury, 14 December 1988
Height: 6ft 5in
Clubs: Bradford Bulls (Super League), South Sydney Rabbitohs (NRL)
Bath (Aviva Premiership)

Despite coming on at centre for Bath, the Dewsbury-born player is still working on exactly which role he will play in the team on a long-term basis.

"I've been mixing it up in training but I think I'll stay at centre for now, certainly over the next few games," Burgess said.

"But we've got a lot of time. It's certainly not an overnight transition and the worst thing we could do is rush it."

Bath coach Mike Ford says the former Rugby League star's time at inside-centre could be short-lived, with a space in the back row an option he'll be exploring.

"Personally, I think that will suit Sam personally more. It's a gut feeling of mine as he's a guy who carries and tackles a lot and I don't want to stick him out in the centre to do nothing.

"My vision is for Sam to be a barnstorming back row and we'll see how it unfolds, it'll be a good journey."

Sam Burgess
Burgess came on in the 63rd minute
Sam Burgess
It was Burgess' first appearance since fracturing a cheekbone playing for Sydney Rabbitohs in October
Sam Burgess
Harlequins were briefly reduced to 12 men during the game at the Rec
Burgess celebrates with his Bath team-mates
Bath moved to the top of the Aviva Premiership league table with the win

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