Trip no bother for Burgess
I got some sleep on the plane says Oz based England star
Last Updated: 10/06/10 4:47pm
Burgess: 'Never an issue'
Flying halfway around the world for a mid-season match has posed no problem at all for England forward Sam Burgess.
"It was never in doubt that I wanted to play this game. No matter that it's halfway around the world, we want to make the journey as it means that much to put that jersey on."
Sam Burgess Quotes of the week
The 21-year-old, who plays for South Sydney, flew in from Australia on Wednesday to link up with his England team mates as they prepare to face France on Saturday.
Burgess is one of three Australia-based players named in new national coach Steve McNamara's team - Gareth Ellis and Gareth Widdop make up the contingent from Down Under.
"It was never an issue really," said Burgess after taking part in his first training session in Manchester on Thursday.
"I got some sleep on the plane. I'm a young lad, I can manage."
Wests Tigers second rower Ellis and Widdop, who is understudy to Melbourne Storms superstar full-back Billy Slater arrived in the UK at the weekend.
But, while their respective clubs were happy to let the pair make their whistle-stop trip across the globe, Burgess said the Rabbitohs were a little more reluctant to release him.
"They know how passionate I am about England rugby league," he explained. "I stated I wanted to play and they backed me up.
"At first they weren't too happy about it but they wanted to keep me happy so they respected my wish to play for my country.
"It was never in doubt that I wanted to play this game. No matter that it's halfway around the world, we want to make the journey as it means that much to put that jersey on.
"It makes me feel proud that they went to the lengths they did to fly us over. It made us feel special and part of the England team.
"It's a great idea to get the squad together as much as possible. There are a lot of new faces and that's the main reason, to be part of a new set-up.
"There is plenty of enthusiasm with the youth and there are some old heads like Jamie Peacock and Mozza (Adrian Morley)."
Burges was also full of praise for Widdop, also 21, who earns his call up after just two first-grade appearances.
Only Parramatta three-quarter Krisnan Inu has achieved international status quicker in the last 20 years, when in 2007 he was called up the New Zealand Test side after just one game for the Eels
"I don't know a massive amount about him," said Burgess. "But I've probably seen more clips of him than anyone else in the squad..
"He's got a lot of skill and played a lot at six in the Under-20s last year. I'm sure he's going to be the name on everyone's lips after the game on Saturday.
"He went well in training today and I'm looking forward to playing with him. It's going to be a big step up for him but I'm confident he is capable of doing it.
"I've seen his ability and he's surrounded by a lot of good players in the team."