Rugby World Cup: Wales have plans to combat rookie Burgess, says Howley

Ross McLean
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Wales have hatched a plan to combat the unchartered threat posed by England rookie Sam Burgess when the two sides meet in Saturday’s pivotal Rugby World Cup clash at Twickenham, according to attack coach Rob Howley.

Rugby league convert Burgess is set to replace the injured Jonathan Joseph in the crucial Pool A showdown despite amassing just 112 minutes of Test rugby since switching codes less than a year ago.

“I was really impressed with his game when he played with [Henry] Slade against France [in August’s warm-up match] and his ability to run hard lines,” said Howley. “It’s important that when you play against players like Sam that you close down his space.”

Howley also revealed that the Welsh are wary of Owen Farrell, who is tipped to be named in England’s starting XV at No10 in place of George Ford when head coach Stuart Lancaster names his side today. He added: “I know that Owen likes those pressurised games.”

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