Rugby Union - Burgess in England World Cup training squad

England squad player Sam Burgess (L) talks to coach Mike Catt ahead of the Six Nations international rugby union match between England and France at Twickenham Stadium, south west of London, on March 21, 2015. England won the game 55-35, the Six Nations title went to Ireland on points difference. Ireland retained the Six Nations title for only the second time in their history as England fell just short on Saturday. England went into the final game of the day requiring a 26 point winning margin and went agonisingly close beating France 55-35 in an astonishing match at Twickenham. AFP PHOTO / GLYN KIRK (AFP Photo/GLYN KIRK)

- Rugby league convert Sam Burgess was named in hosts England's 50-man training squad announced Wednesday for this year's World Cup. Burgess, 26, was included just six months after switching from rugby league having starred as the South Sydney Rabbitohs won the NRL Grand Final. However, doubts remain over whether Burgess -- uncapped in rugby union -- will play as a centre or at blindside flanker, where he has been deployed recently by club side Bath. As was widely expected, there was no place for the French-based pair of back-row Steffon Armitage and full-back Nick Abendanon, with England coach Stuart Lancaster refusing to use the "exceptional circumstances" get-out clause that would have enabled him to overturn the Rugby Football Union rule banning players at overseas clubs from Test selection.

AFP