ENGLAND Knights player Tom Burgess is relishing the chance to make his first representative appearance when the Knights take on Ireland in an Alitalia European Cup clash in Belfast on Saturday (6.00pm).
Burgess will join brothers Sam, Luke and George at South Sydney Rabbitohs in the NRL next season and the powerhouse prop believes the Knights experience will stand him in good stead.
“My brothers have told me a lot about the standard of training at club level in Australia and I think what we’ve been doing with the Knights certainly isn’t far off that standard,” said Burgess.
“For me it’s been great to be involved in the England environment. It’s a higher level than what we’re all used to during the season at club level and it’s been good to experience coming into camp and blending with new players.
“We’ve got some good games coming up against Ireland and Scotland as well which will be a good test for us and give us an opportunity to put our training into practice and stake a claim on the full international stage.”
Burgess has been joined in the Knights squad by twin brother George, the first time the duo have appeared in the same squad since George left Bradford Bulls for the Rabbitohs in 2010, and the chance to represent their country together is something that excites Tom.
“It’s been great to have George back here in England,” he said. “Being in camp and training together has been really enjoyable and hopefully we’ll both get the chance to play for the Knights in the coming weeks.
“That experience of playing for the Knights is going to set us up well for going into training with South Sydney together and I’m looking forward to it.
“I’ve had a great time at Bradford but I’m looking forward to a new challenge in my career and the pastures ahead and that starts with the Knights.”
England begin their Alitalia European Cup campaign against Ireland in Belfast’s Deramore Park on Saturday October 20 (6.00pm) before taking on Scotland in Edinburgh’s Meggetland Stadium on Sunday October 28 (2.00pm).