Freddie Burns urged to impress Stuart Lancaster when England face New Zealand

Last Updated: 07/06/14 8:13am

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Freedie Burns: Urged to seize his chance when England face New Zealand

Freedie Burns: Urged to seize his chance when England face New Zealand

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Freddie Burns must take his opportunity to impress Stuart Lancaster when England take on New Zealand this weekend, according to Jimmy Cowan.

England have been hit by injuries to several key players including Harlequins scrum-half Danny Care as they prepare to face the All Blacks in the first of three Tests at Auckland's Eden Park on Saturday.

And Former All Black and Burns' Gloucester team-mate Cowan is backing the 24-year-old to challenge George Ford, Stephen Myler and Owen Farrell for a place in England's 2015 World Cup squad.

"You look at Owen and Stephen, how they are playing, then George Ford's recovering from an operation, so he's got his chance now and it's up to him to take it," said 51-cap All Blacks scrum-half Cowan.

"He can let his rugby do the talking, get out on the pitch and go for it. Sometimes you only get one chance, and this could be his in all honesty.

"To be fair it is a tough place to go, to play the All Blacks at home.

"I think from his point of view it's a challenge to look forward to and he's got that confidence and that aura about him that he'll jump at the chance.

Hard work

"He deserves the chance for all the hard work he has put in, and now I just hope he can show what he's all about."

England coach Lancaster has resisted the temptation to field Danny Cipriani in his starting line-up following the Sale fly-half's first England call-up in six years.

Cowan backed Lancaster's decision and is tipping Burns to show his quality in Auckland on Saturday.

"As professional athletes we all go through stages like that in your career, there are always ups and downs," said 32-year-old Cowan.

"I think it's always a testament to quality players that they bounce back, and he's got that trait, you can see it there.

"He's got the chance now to do it in New Zealand, and I just hope he puts the marker down and really pushes his claims.

"He's got the talent; no doubt, you can see that, it's just whether they can get it out of him.

"He's been in good form lately though, and I think he's ready."

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