Burgess brothers back England academy


Luke, Sam and George Burgess, have given their backing to the England Academy as they seek to become only the second side to win a series against the Australian Schoolboys on Australian soil.

The Burgess brothers watched on as the Academy recorded a 28-18 victory over New South Wales Juniors in their opening tour game earlier this week and they were impressed with what they saw.

“I think the guys performed really well considering they had only just come off a long flight a few days before,” said Sam Burgess. “There were a few errors in the game at times but they got a win which is what counts.

“The key thing for these guys is to enjoy the experience. A lot of them have probably never left England before and there’s a different culture around the game here so they’ll remember this for the rest of their lives.

“It’s not very often you get the chance to compete against the Aussies on their soil so they need to enjoy it and if they can get the wins then it’ll be even better.”

Burgess has become a star in Australia’s NRL competition since joining South Sydney Rabbitohs in 2009 and has plenty of experience playing against the best talent on offer in Australia.

“Belief is key against Australia,” added the former Bradford Bulls prop. “You have to respect them but you need to believe you can win.

“There are some very talented players in this team and if they are ready mentally then they can definitely win.

“I know John Bateman and Liam McAvoy from Bradford but a few of the other players like Ben Currie are very exciting and look good for the future and that bodes well for England Rugby League.”

Burgess’s younger brother George, who starred for the England Academy team that beat the Schoolboys in 2010, joined the Rabbitohs in 2011 and made his NRL debut earlier this season, impressing against Canterbury Bulldogs.

“The guys looked good today and I’m sure that there’s a lot more to come from them throughout the tour,” said George.

“We had a really close group back in 2010 and we worked very hard for each other which I think is very important at this level and this group seems similar.

“You can’t have any fear when you’re going up against the Schoolboys. The lads need to go out there and show them what English pride is all about and just go 100 per cent and if they do that I think they’ll get the win.”

The England Academy continue their preparations for a two-Test series against the Australian Schoolboys by taking on Parramatta Juniors on Saturday.