Burrell wants England to attack World Cup with renewed vigour

GIVEN he has plenty of pace himself, it is no surprise that Luther Burrell is a big supporter of the rapid, free-flowing style of play England will look to take with them into the World Cup.

Englands Luther Burrell is tackled by Frances Gael Fickou and Yoann Huget at Twickenham (Picture: David Davies/PA Wire).

There was, of course, heartache that Saturday’s astonishing 55-35 victory over France did not bring with it the Six Nations title, the hosts falling short by a points difference of just six as Ireland snatched the crown from them for a second year running.

But within the context of the bigger picture, most notably becoming the best side on the planet this autumn, some crucial steps were taken.

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Talking to The Yorkshire Post, the Huddersfield-born centre admitted: “It was a very, very strange feeling afterwards.

“Obviously there is disappointment there and a lot of frustration as we know we didn’t lose the Six Nations (on Saturday).

“In our previous games we’ve left a few tries out there, a few points, so I think that is one of the overriding factors.

“But, on the positive note, we played a very, very expansive game of rugby.

“I think it’s one of the most high intensity games I’ve ever been a part of and to put 55 points on a very, very strong French team that have only allowed two tries in all tournament is pretty special from this group of players.

“Obviously we are slightly disheartened to lose the Six Nations by six points but we’ve got a lot of positives to take from the game.

“As a squad of players we can really regroup now, look at this and build on it. If we can go into the World Cup with this sort of focus to put teams to the sword like that, and score points with the backline and forwards we have, I think it will be a pretty successful tournament for us.”

Burrell, who won the Premiership title and European Challenge Cup with Northampton Saints last year, will be hoping he has also laid down a marker himself when it comes to selection for that World Cup.

He started every game during the Six Nations, making the most of a midfield injury crisis before the opener in Wales to take his chance and remind Stuart Lancaster of his obvious quality.

Operating at inside centre, the 27-year-old has proven a perfect foil for Jonathan Joseph, the brilliant Bath player who has emerged during the tournament as someone of genuine world-class, match-winning quality. But with Manu Tuilagi, Brad Barritt, Owen Farrell and Kyle Eastmond all yet to come back from injuries and all, also, a No 12 option for Lancaster, it will be fascinating to see which way the head coach goes in terms of his combination.

Burrell and Joseph played together in all five Six Nations matches and, though the former might not have scored any tries, his all-round game has been excellent.

Asked if he thought he made strides towards nailing down a berth, the former Leeds Carnegie player who burst onto the international scene in last season’s Six Nations with three tries, said: “It’s not really for me to say.

“Me and JJ (Joseph) have struck up a good relationship. He’s been fantastic and, for me, probably one of the players of the tournament if not the player. He’s been outstanding.

“All I can do is keep working hard. I’ve got to go back to Northampton now, try and get my jersey back there and hopefully we can have a successful season again. I’ll focus on that and just keep my consistency up. It’s been a successful Six Nations for me, personally, and I always come away from camp being a better player.

“The coaches are always fantastic with me on an individual basis so I always feel I’ve made gains every time I’ve come into camp. It’s fantastic to be part of it so hopefully, come World Cup time, I’ll still be knocking on that door or, if not, knocking it down.

“It’d be a dream come true to represent England in a home World Cup.”

That home aspect could become particularly key when it comes to England’s hopes.

Burrell admits he was stunned by the noise levels in Twickenham at the weekend, especially as the hosts attempted a driving maul in the final moments that, if successful and converted, would have resulted in them finishing as champions.

“Oh my gosh; it was something I’ve just never experienced before, if I’m honest,” he said.

“You could feel them on your shoulders. It was absolutely amazing, fantastic, and it literally did send shivers down your spine out there. It was unbelievable.

“In the last Six Nations we played Ireland here and that was pretty loud but this was something I’ve never witnessed.”