England head coach Stuart Lancaster says cross-code switch is up to Sam Burgess

Last Updated: 07/02/14 8:16am

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England rugby head coach Stuart Lancaster says Sam Burgess must want to switch codes if he harbours hopes of playing at the 2015 World Cup.

Reports have suggested Burgess could depart NRL's South Sydney Rabbitohs at the end of the season and then join Aviva Premiership club Bath.

The former Bradford Bull would then have a season of union with the intention of breaking in England's squad for the prestigious tournament on home soil.

"If it was to happen it would have to come from him and he'd have to want to do it."
Lancaster on Burgess

It is thought Burgess, who starred for England in last year's Rugby League World Cup, could follow in the footsteps of Sonny Bill Williams after he impressed in both codes of the game.

Lancaster is not ruling out a move for Burgess, however, he says the 25-year-old will need to resolve his own his future as he is under contract to the Russell Crowe's Rabbitohs until 2016.

Under contract

"I know that Sam's contracted at the Rabbitohs and that's the situation as I see it," Lancaster told Sky Sports.

"If it was to happen it would have to come from him and he'd have to want to do it.

"From my point of view it's all hypothetical and speculation at the moment. So we'll wait and see how it unfolds.

"In terms of players making the switch from rugby league to rugby union we've had success recently with people like Kyle Eastmond, who's made great progress.

"Obviously Andy Farrell came, Henry Paul etc so it can be done. The timelines are tight, but we'll wait and see how it plays out."

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