Sam Burgess calls out Rob Andrew over World Cup criticism
Sam Burgess has told Rob Andrew to "pick up a phone and call me" after the former RFU director reiterated his claim that selecting the rugby league convert was behind England's failure at the rugby union World Cup.
Stuart Lancaster's decision to name Burgess in England's squad for the 2015 tournament despite his limited experience in the 15-man format was met with surprise, and when the hosts failed to make it out of the group stages the critics' knives were sharpened.
In his new book, Andrew claimed Burgess' inclusion had a "negative effect" and, speaking to BBC Breakfast, repeated his view that it was a "risk" from then head coach Lancaster.
"I think there's been a lot of focus on the one page [of the book] on Sam Burgess - there's a lot of other stuff around the World Cup," he said.
"I think the issue was, and my big comment around it, is that head coaches get judged on their results and they have to make decisions around selection and Sam Burgess was a massive decision. And it's not just blaming Sam, it wasn't Sam's fault that he was picked to play for England.
"But it changed the dynamic of that squad going into a World Cup and head coaches live or die by the decisions they take - and we didn't get out of our group in a home World Cup.
"It was a massive risk, a massive decision Stuart took and it didn't pay off.
"He [Lancaster] did such a lot of good work and then a few decisions - and in the biggest tournament in our sport - went wrong in a home World Cup."
But Burgess has taken exception to Andrew's comments and called out the former fly-half on Twitter.
He wrote: "I think Rob Andrew should pick up the phone and call me."
I think Rob Andrew should pick up the phone and call me.-- Sam Burgess (@SamBurgess8) November 8, 2017
The tweet received the support of Australia international Matt Giteau, who said the Wallabies had put plenty of work into finding a way to counter Burgess.
"Mate you were a challenge for me at that World Cup. A lot of review time spent on you. He is off the mark by a long way," Giteau wrote.
Replying to Giteau, Burgess commented: "Legend. Anyhow, hope you're well pal, look forward to catching up when you're back in Aus. Hope family are well lad."
legend. Anyhow, hope you're well pal, look forward to catching up when you're back in Aus. Hope family are well lad-- Sam Burgess (@SamBurgess8) November 8, 2017