Burns ready for big stage

Freddie Burns is ready to make the step up to the international stage according to his club coach. [more]

Burns ready for big stage

Freddie Burns is ready to make the step up to the international stage according to his club coach.

The Gloucester youngster looks set for at least a place on the bench when England face New Zealand on Saturday after first-choice fly-half Toby Flood was ruled out with a toe injury.

Burns may still be uncapped but the 22-year-old has been in superb form so far this season and Gloucester boss Nigel Davies is tipping his man to shine for his country.

“I think he’s got everything an international-outside half needs,” said Davies, who has previously compared Burns favourably with his former Scarlet charges Stephen Jones and Rhys Priestland.

“I think what we’ve seen from him this season is a maturity that perhaps wasn’t there in the past. His game management has been excellent.

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“Freddie is putting us in the right areas and then he’s turning the opportunities into points. I really think he’s someone who’s on top of his game at the moment.

“I think he’s playing superbly well. And he’s always a threat. For me, he’s an exceptional player.”

Englandhead coach Stuart Lancaster is expected to start Saracens’ Owen Farrell in the No1 shirt against the All Blacks, with Burns likely to come on as a replacement at Twickenham.

The former Bath Academy star spent time training with England earlier this month and has again reported to Pennyhill Park ahead of the final international of the year.

And he certainly arrived in camp in fine form after scoring 19 points in an impeccable kicking display against Sale Sharks on Saturday. 

“His goal kicking was incredibly important,” added Davies when talking about the impact his playmaker had on proceedings in the 29-3 win at Kingsholm.

“When we get those penalty opportunities, we have to be able to convert them into points. If you don’t do that, then you don’t win games.

“He kept the ball in front of his forward pack for the best part of the game and put a lot of pressure on Sale as a result of that. And then he stepped up and kicked the goals – and they weren’t easy kicks, some were very tough. But he never looked like missing.”

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