Saints centre Burrell reflects on ‘brilliant’ England moment

SPECIAL MOMENT - Luther Burrell goes over for a try on his England debut
SPECIAL MOMENT - Luther Burrell goes over for a try on his England debut

Luther Burrell has labelled his debut try for England a ‘brilliant moment’.

The Saints centre started the Six Nations opener against France on Saturday and was able to write his name on the scoresheet during the second half.

Burrell’s score helped put England, who had been 16-3 down, in command, but France recovered to claim a dramatic 26-24 victory.

Nevertheless, the 26-year-old Northampton star was in upbeat mood as he reflected on a special personal occasion.

“It was a brilliant feeling to play for England and I am very proud,” said Burrell. “I think my reaction behind the posts said it all. It (the try) was a brilliant moment.

“It was nice to get on the end of a try but credit to Billy (Vunipola) for his run. I was on the end of his brilliant play.”

Burrell is now eager to help England bounce back when they head to Scotland on Saturday.

And he knows they can’t afford to start and finish as slowly as they did at the Stade de France.

“You can’t afford to let a class act back into a game like that,” he said of the defeat in Paris.

“We are disappointed because we thought that we play quite well and got ourselves back into the game from 16-3 after they took us to the sword early on.

“We weren’t shell-shocked but it was a slow start in which we didn’t get the bounce of the ball.

“It was difficult to come back from that and we had to regroup behind the posts. It just wasn’t enough in the end.”

Burrell was one of five Saints players to get game time in Paris, with Dylan Hartley, Courtney Lawes and Tom Wood also starting and Lee Dickson coming off the bench.

There was also Northampton representation in the England Saxons side on Friday night, with Sam Dickinson, Alex Waller and Calum Clark starting.

Clark captained the team as they claimed a 16-16 draw against Scotland A at Scotstoun in Glasgow.

Elsewhere, Saints centre Tom Stephenson scored a try in England Under 20s’ 21-15 defeat to a strong French side on Friday night.

Prop Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi also started, with Howard Packman emerging from the bench during the second half and Sam Olver an unused replacement.