Burrell 'let down' by Lancaster after World Cup snub


England centre Luther Burrell says former coach Stuart Lancaster left him "broken mentally" when Sam Burgess was selected ahead of him for the Rugby World Cup.

Burgess' inclusion in Lancaster's final 31-man squad was hugely controversial given his inexperience in rugby union, but, after impressing for Bath, the 26-year-old league star was given the chance to impress.

He - like the rest of the England team - failed to do so, though, as the hosts were eliminated in the pool stages, with Burgess since confirming his intention to return to rugby league with NRL side South Sydney Rabbitohs.

Burrell, who has scored three tries in 13 appearances for England, admitted his exclusion was tough to take and took a swipe at Lancaster.

"I knew as soon as I walked into the office and saw Stuart's face, which was hurting, that it was not good news," he told The Daily Telegraph.

"I was the first player in. Obviously, Stuart wanted to get the tough one out of the way first. I've known Stuart for 12 or 13 years. 

"I have huge respect for him as a bloke and for what he has achieved. I know it was a tough decision to make, but he let me down. That's how I feel about it.

"It was one of the most heartbreaking things in my life. I just didn't feel I had done anything wrong. I had done for the jersey everything I could. That was the hardest thing for me."

Burrell now hopes his form for Northampton Saints can earn him an international recall under new coach Eddie Jones.

He added: "It's an exciting time for English rugby with a new coach on board. I want to get back into that England team. I'm determined to give it my best shot."