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Burgess is taking everything in his stride.

SAM Burgess is unfazed by all the World Cup hype and expectation surrounding his England Saxons debut in Cork, according to coach Jon Callard.

Rugby league convert Burgess (left) receives lift-off in his World Cup fast-tracking tonight, lining up in an England shirt in union for the first time as he faces the Irish Wolfhounds.

Bath's 26-year-old battering-ram will partner Elliot Daly in the centres, with Exeter's Henry Slade at fly-half in a team captained by Northampton's Lee Dickson.

Saxons head coach Callard said the Cork clash is a chance for Burgess to "test the waters" on his international pedigree, under the watchful gaze of England's senior boss Stuart Lancaster.

"I've watched Sam from afar in how he's evolving in the game, he's an impressive character," said Callard of Burgess, who only joined Bath in late October.

"We're all excited for Sam, but we're taking it very, very calmly. There's plenty of time for him to develop.

"There's huge expectation obviously, but it's an opportunity to test the waters at this level, see where he is, then reassess and put another plan together.

"He's certainly capable of playing international rugby: we'll know a little more after Friday night.

"He won't be fazed by it, none of these guys are fazed by it.

"Sam's an impressive young man who has done it at the top level of one sport and has come over to this sport in his prime.

"We all know how much ability he has, and what he's capable of achieving."

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jan 30, 2015
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