No doubts for Burgess as he seeks to repay Lancaster's faith

Rugby Union - England Training - Pennyhill Park, Bagshot, Surrey - 24/9/15 England's Sam Burgess during training Action Images via Reuters / Henry Browne Livepic (Reuters)

By Mitch Phillips LONDON (Reuters) - When Sam Burgess was selected for England's Rugby World Cup squad despite never having played an international match, much was made of the mighty former rugby league man’s "aura." Self-confidence based on his considerable achievements in the 13-man code and faith in his own ability were mixed with a healthy dose of humility as he learned the complex rules of the new game. Those are the sort of attributes highly valued by Stuart Lancaster and his management team, not least backs coach and fellow league convert Andy Farrell, and after watching him close up in training, they declared he had made it "impossible not to pick him" for their 31-man tournament squad. Some huge hits, hard running and deft off-loading in his few England outings since furthered his case and when Jonathan Joseph was ruled out with a chest injury, Burgess was named on Thursday to start at inside centre against Wales on Saturday. "I believe in myself. I feel like I have the respect of my team mates and the staff. That is the opinion that counts for me," he told reporters, who had been quick to remind him that many pundits and former players have criticised the selection. "I don't believe what people say," he said. "I believe in Stuart and who he has picked. My job is to deliver in the job he has given me. The exterior talk is that we move on and believe in ourselves." Asked what he found the most difficult aspect of his code switch, Burgess said: "I've stopped thinking about that because I am a rugby player. "I focus on what is my job in this team now. I get on with the job that I have here." A few months ago Burgess was being played at flanker for Bath, and having no great impact either, but when asked if could have imagined such a meteoric rise there was no false modesty on show. "Yes. I did have a vision of doing it," he said. "This is what I wanted to achieve to be part of this squad. "It is a big game and I’m really excited to be a part of it but it is just another game. I don't want to let occasion take over. "This is an exciting time to be part of England rugby, especially starting against Wales. I am really looking forward to the atmosphere." (Editing by Ed Osmond)