Bath coach Mike Ford hinted Sam Burgess’s future could lay in the back-row after the rugby league convert made his first start at No.6 in the 29-19 bonus-point victory at Newcastle.
Burgess, who has been a flop in rugby as a centre, was switched to blinside flanker for the clash on Friday (Saturday AEST) and played 60 minutes as Bath moved to second in English rugby’s Aviva Premiership.
“We’re pleased with the way Sam played in the back-row,” said Ford of the former South Sydney NRL star.
“He’s not the finished article by any means but he will get better and we’ll probably look to keep playing him in the back-row.”
Ford was also pleased with the way his team picked themselves up after their European Champions Cup exit at the hand of Leinster last weekend.
“It was a very good night in terms of the outcome and the five points and getting back to second place,” he said.
“We cut them open at times.
“Anthony Watson was superb as was George (Ford) and (Semesa) Rokoduguni was outstanding.”
Fifteen points were rattled up in the first 16 minutes of the match as Bath, for whom England’s Ford delivered a fly-half masterclass, collected a pair of tries through Ollie Devoto and Rokoduguni.
Newcastle responded with a Sinoti Sinoti try but Watson’s score on the stroke of halftime earned Bath a 19-13 lead at the interval, and then Matt Banahan went over in the 42nd minute to give the visitors their bonus point.