Sam Burgess can 'traumatise' defences, says Jason Robinson

Sam Burgess
Burgess had a quiet England Saxons debut at inside centre against Ireland

Former England rugby captain Jason Robinson believes England should use Sam Burgess to "traumatise" defences.

Burgess, 26, is in his first season in union since leaving Australian rugby league side South Sydney to join Bath.

"Sam needs to do what he does best - run at people, smash them out of the way, traumatise them," said Robinson.

He made his debut for England's second-string Saxons side in January but coach Stuart Lancaster has hinted this year's World Cup might come too soon.external-link

"I know he probably feels he wants to make more of an impact but sometimes the games in rugby don't go that way," Lancaster told BBC Radio 5 live in February.

"The Six Nations was always going to be a push. The World Cup would be too, but never say never."

Bath coach Mike Ford revealed that Burgess is "frustrated" with aspects of union, adding: "He will have 20 carries in rugby league and here it is four or five."

Too early to judge Burgess

Burgess was an established England international forward in league and won the National Rugby League Grand Final in Australia in his final season with Souths.

But he has mainly played at inside centre since moving to union and had a quiet debut for the Saxons.

Winger Robinson, who won the World Cup with England in 2003 after switching codes from league, believes it is too early to judge Burgess.

"Moving over to union is difficult and I think you can over-think it but he needs to strip it back," said Robinson, who favours playing Burgess at inside centre.

"He is known for his brute strength so just get him running at players. As a defence, that's not what you want to see."

England have plenty of work to do

England defeated Wales and Italy in their opening two fixtures of the 2015 6 Nations but were defeated 19-9 in Ireland.

Stuart Lancaster's team are next in action against Scotland at Twickenham on Saturday.

"England still have quite a bit of work to do. We saw them play against Ireland and we all knew the game they have but we didn't pressurise it," said Robinson.

"Part of me would say they are not that far off, but this Six Nations is still a learning curve for England.

"We always expect them to be there all the time and when they're not, they're open for criticism."

Ireland v England
England were outplayed by Ireland in Dublin, and proved fallible under the high ball

Pack positives for World Cup

Stuart Lancaster has been in charge of England since March 2012. He will take them into the World Cup on home soil later in the year, with the tournament kicking off with a match against Fiji on 18 September.

"Stuart Lancaster, I think, has done a brilliant job and has done a lot for English rugby, but there is still a long way to go in order to pick that cup up.

"But there have been some good things this year. They have got a pack good enough to challenge anybody in world rugby - that's the most positive thing."