25 September 2015
Slamming Sam the Dragon Slayer
A wounded Welsh outfit arrive at Twickenham tomorrow hoping to put their injury concerns to one side and topple an England side who have their sights set on Rugby World Cup glory.
Stuart Lancaster has responded to his team’s positive last quarter versus Fiji by naming backs Owen Farrell and Sam Burgess in his line up from the off. Billy Vunipola who secured England’s bonus point try getting a start at No.8.
It’s the inclusion of Burgess at outside centre that will raise an eye. Lancaster is shorn of Jonathan Joseph’s services as he recovers from a niggling shoulder so it will be up to Joseph’s Bath team mate Burgess to nullify Wales’s midfield threat posed by the equally powerful Jamie Roberts.
In fact the prospect of Burgess and Roberts going at it hammer and tong is mouth watering to say the least. Harlequins bound Roberts will run hard and flat lines off Wales No.10 Dan Biggar and likely to be straight down Burgess’s defensive channel, so who will your money be on?
Well we’re backing Slamming Sam to make the difference and rise to the occasion with booming collisions in the tackle. He was inspired in England’s pre World Cup home win over France giving every one of his team mates a huge lift. Farrell and Burgess seem to have a common understanding and with the steady Brad Barritt also in the mix, it’s a combination which should bring with it the right result.
Warren Gatland’s Wales sides World Cup chances were dealt a huge blow pre tournament when their points machine Leigh Halfpenny was ruled out, leaving Biggar the man with all to do to keep the scoreboard ticking over with the boot. Dead eye goal kicker Farrell is clinical in front of the uprights and with Burgess leading by example I expect the hosts to edge it.
England by 6!