Steve McNamara backs Joe Burgess to find form


Steve McNamara, the England coach, has delivered a long-distance vote of confidence in Wigan’s struggling winger Joe Burgess.

Burgess, who has signed to play for McNamara’s NRL club, the Sydney Roosters, at the end of the Super League season, was a sensation last year, scoring 25 tries in 27 appearances and winning a place in the England squad.

This season his form has been shaky, including an error-prone display against the Brisbane Broncos in the World Club Series. Recently he has been loaned out to Workington Town, with whom Wigan have a dual  registration agreement.

“He’s a very young man and a tremendous player,” said McNamara on a video link from Sydney.  “Everyone goes through lapses in form. Joe is a confident person and knows what he needs to do to put  it right.”

Without naming him, McNamara also hinted at the possibility of a recall for Salford’s Rangi Chase. “The door is never shut,” he said. “There’s players who have been part of the group, then out of it and back in again. But it has to be right for the group.”

McNamara also welcomed the structural changes in the English game, but warned that it might take more than a single season for the benefits to show.