Burns set for EPS promotion
January 4, 2013
Freddie Burns made his England debut against the All Blacks in December © Getty Images
Gloucester's Freddie Burns will be promoted to England's senior squad from the Saxons, according to reports.
England's revised Elite Player Squad will be released on January 9 and the fly-half looks set to be a notable addition. Burns has been in sparkling form for his club side this season and there were calls before the All Blacks Test on December 1 that he should get the nod at fly-half for England ahead of Owen Farrell. As it transpired, Farrell produced an assured performance to help Stuart Lancaster's men beat the Kiwis with Burns taking his England bow as a second-half substitute.
Before the autumn Tests, Burns was a member of the England Saxons squad rather than the senior group of players, but according to reports in the Daily Mail, that looks set to change. The Gloucester half-back would have to replace a current member of the senior squad with Jordan Turner-Hall one potential candidate to drop out down to the Saxons to make way for Burns.
Farrell looks set to keep the fly-half berth for England's first game of the 2013 Six Nations - against Scotland on February 2 - but Burns is in within a shout of making the bench in what looks likely to be a straight shootout between him and Toby Flood for the backup fly-half shirt. The newspaper also reports that Bath's Kyle Eastmond could get called into the Saxons squad as a reward for his impressive form for the West Country side.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
John Taylor argues the world's best XVs players must be given a chance to play in the Olympics to increase the appeal of the game
The All Blacks' form is not a peaking issue, but Hansen must threaten to wield his axe, to demand improvement, Craig Dowd writes
"It has been the World Cup that smashed down the gender barriers of the sport." Tom Hamilton looks back at a remarkable tournament
A selection of the best pictures from England's historic World Cup triumph in Paris as they beat Canada 21-9