Stuart Lancaster backs Luther Burrell to thrive in England's midfield
Last Updated: 10/01/14 8:11am
Luther Burrell: Backed to succeed at outside centre by Stuart Lancaster
England coach Stuart Lancaster believes new boy Luther Burrell can form an exciting centre partnership with Billy Twelvetrees.
Burrell was one of five uncapped players named in Lancaster's Six Nations squad as a host of Saxons men were promoted to cover for eight high-profile injuries.
Burrell has featured most frequently at inside centre for Northampton, which is Gloucester playmaker Twelvetrees' favoured role, but Lancaster is confident Burrell can slot in at outside.
"I could easily see a scenario when Luther and Billy paired up," he said.
"In the same way that Billy played with Brad Barritt or Manu Tuilagi, you use one of the centres as someone who gets you across the gain line, and another who becomes an option to get you across the line but is also a second distributor and ball player.
"What we need to look at in terms of selection is who the best guy to defend at 13 will be.
"Luther's had plenty of experience doing that at Sale. So that's the bit we're going to have to look at during the first few days of the camp.
"But I could definitely see that combination playing together. I think Kyle Eastmond and Brad Barritt will have something to say about that.
"And Brad's obviously played in that position consistently at Saracens, he's been an outstanding defender in the 13 channel.
"But obviously he's only just coming back to full form and fitness."