Sam Burgess will be Union hit as forward or back, says Australia star

England hopeful Sam Burgess will be a success as a forward or back at Bath Rugby, according to Australia star Dave Dennis

Sam Burgess would make a great number eight but will successfully make the transition to Union from League regardless of whether he plays as a forward or back, according to an Australia international.

Dave Dennis, whose club side Waratahs won Super Rugby last week, is confident that the South Sydney forward can be a hit in the Aviva Premiership as he prepares to link up with Bath Rugby later this year.

He’s aggressive, he’s skilful and I think he’ll make the transition well there, at 12 or eight

Dave Dennis

25-year-old Burgress is hoping to make Stuart Lancaster’s England squad for next year’s Rugby World Cup, prompting his decision to move from the 13-man code to the 15-a-side format.

The Red Rose are reportedly keen to utilise Burgess at No12, but the decision lies with his club side Bath, who are footing the League star’s wages when he makes the switch.

Whilst Dennis feels Burgess would flourish at number eight, a position currently filled by Billy Vunipola in the England side, the former Wallaby back-rower is confident the South Sydney star will flourish in Union regardless of his position.

“I think Bath are looking to play him at 12, but I was saying I think he would make a great No.8,” Dennis told AAP.

“It will be interesting to see what he does there, but I think he’s such a quality player.

“He’s aggressive, he’s skilful and I think he’ll make the transition well there, at 12 or eight.”

Dennis added that he has spoken to Burgess about the subtle differences between League and Union ahead of his move.

“It was interesting because we did the training with the (NRL) Roosters a few weeks ago,” Dennis said.

“It’s obviously a lot about the upper body and the wrestle in league. Compared to union, it’s probably a bit more below the hips, getting low, driving hard.

“I talked to him about the difference there in terms of the contact zone where there’s a bit more below your hips rather than just an upper-body wrestle.

“I think he’ll be across it all and he said he’s actually kept a keen eye on the Waratahs this year so I’m sure he’s learning as he goes.”

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