England get huge Burgess boost for World Cup quarters

England are relieved in more ways than one to have talisman Sam Burgess available for their Rugby League World Cup quarter-final against Papua New Guinea.

 

Burgess sat out the group games wins over Lebanon and France after sustaining a knee injury in the tournament opening loss to Australia.

But the 28-year-old star forward is raring to go at AAMI Park on Sunday with his teammates grateful he will be able to take out his aggression on the playing field rather than at training.

Halfback Luke Gale said Burgess had been a handful in his first full training session on Tuesday since suffering the injury last month.

"He's a big character and the boys miss him but he was full on in that session," Gale said.

"He whacked a couple of boys then which they didn't take too kindly to -- he knocked Kev Brown's head off.

Big boost. Image: Getty

"Sammy trains exactly how he plays, he's intense, so that sessions showed you that he's back."

Burgess said he "made no apologies" for his physicality with his teammates and was excited to return to action.

The South Sydney second-rower pushed his case for an early return but that was quashed by coach Wayne Bennett.

"I always try to push things a little bit, it's in my nature and I wanted to get back on the field as soon as possible and I felt pretty good, but it was the smart thing to give it a few more days," Burgess said.

England are taking on a Kumuls side that have convincingly won their three games in Port Moresby.

Burgess said England needed to be more consistent if they wanted to go all the way.

"It's about execution for us; we need to be a bit more clinical and hold the ball," he said.

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