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Gordon D'Arcy slams 'naive' Sam Burgess following England's World Cup loss against Wales

Sports Editor in News 30 Sep 2015

England centre Sam Burgess has once again come in for some heavy criticism following their World Cup defeat against Wales.

Former Ireland centre Gordon D’Arcy has joined a lengthy list of critics quick to use the former rugby league star as a scapegoat to England’s struggling World Cup campaign.

England coach Stuart Lancaster opted to partner Burgess and Brad Barritt in the centres against Wales at Twickenham with Owen Farrell starting at fly-half.

England lost the game 28-25 and D’Arcy fully believes that Burgess’ naivety was embarrassing for England and the game of rugby union.

In his Irish Times column D’Arcy wrote: “Burgess lacks the sense of timing, in attack and defence, required to be effective at international level. His naivety embarrassed those around him and severely damaged England's chances of reaching the quarter-finals. 

"Stuart Lancaster picked a league convert who doesn't know how to play inside centre for the biggest match England have played since the 2007 World Cup final. To compound the problem, Brad Barritt was out of position at 13 and exposed accordingly when it mattered most. 

"By picking Owen Farrell, Burgess and Barritt, England didn't come to Twickenham to play rugby. We all knew this. Burgess never got to the pace against Wales. He clearly bust a gut but effort and strength were never going to be enough. Barritt was arguably worse and badly exposed for the Gareth Davies try. 

"By then, the Burgess experiment had been abandoned because the England coaching team accepted, long after everyone else, that he had no idea what was happening around him. All Burgess did was run straight in search of collisions with Jamie Roberts (who obliged but really conned him most of the time). 

"Sam is a phenomenal athlete and clearly a fast learner. The damning question for Lancaster's England is: why were these learning curves taking place in the pool of death's must-win game?"