IRB Rugby World Cup
Luther Burrell ready to give England coaches ultimate World Cup headache
PA Sport
August 22, 2015
© David Rogers/Getty Images

Luther Burrell is ready to tackle the latest hurdle in his career when he performs his final audition for a place in England's World Cup squad.

Burrell has been told by head coach Stuart Lancaster he needs a "big performance" in Saturday's warm-up match against France in Paris if he is to be named as one of the four centres selected for the global showpiece.

The Northampton Saint played throughout England's Six Nations campaign but knows he must deliver at the Stade de France if he is to join Brad Barritt and Jonathan Joseph in the final 31-man squad destined for the World Cup, with Sam Burgess likely to complete the quartet.

"Throughout my career I've always had to overcome hurdles," Burrell said. "During my journey I joined Leeds, went out on loan and joined Sale and had my injury problems.

"I went to Northampton, lost my place in the team, we reached the final, came up short, but then won the next final. It's not been an easy path to get here but you cherish it.

"I don't see this as a big hurdle, it's about performance and seeing how the team is. I'm not putting any added pressure on myself.

"It's about getting my hands on the ball early and if I can control my game then it'll be a headache for the coaches when the squad has to be named on August 31."

Attacking skills coach Mike Catt has urged Burrell to solve England's "centre dilemma".

"We're looking for some good stuff from Luther - we just want Luther to be Luther. No one understands the centre dilemma better than Luther," Catt said. "The dilemma is simple - six into four won't go, or maybe seven [fly-half Owen Farrell] into four won't go."

© PA Sport

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