Davies backs Burns to fire
Davies backs Burns to fireSHARE
Gloucester boss Nigel Davies believes that Freddie Burns is in red hot form and set to make a big impact for England.
Burns chose the perfect moment to deliver probably his most polished performance of the season on Saturday, as he steered his team superbly around Kingsholm as well as chipping in with 19 points from the boot in their 29-3 victory over Sale.
The 22-year-old now heads the Premiership points scoring table with 143 points from his eight starts, and his ability to put the ball between the uprights is vital to Gloucester's cause according to Davies.
"His goal-kicking was incredibly important. When we get those penalty opportunities, we have to be able to convert them into points.
"If you don’t do that, then you don't win games. Freddie is putting us in the right areas and then he's turning the opportunities into points. I really think he's someone who’s on top of his game at the moment," he said.
Murmurs in the media calling for a Burns call-up have become a clamour in recent days, and Davies feels his young charge is in top form.
"I think he’s playing superbly well. I think he's got everything an international outside half needs.
"I think what we've seen from him this season is a maturity that perhaps wasn't there in the past but his game management has been excellent.
"He kept the ball in front of his forward pack for the best part of the game today and put a lot of pressure on Sale as a result of that. And then he stepped up and kicked the goals – and they weren't easy kicks, some were very tough. But he never looked like missing.
"And he’s always a threat. Even on a boggy field and with a wet ball, he always looked dangerous. You just can't move off him too early. For me, he's an exceptional player.
It is a double edged sword, of course. Getting the international nod will mean that Burns won't be available for Gloucester. However, Davies stresses that it reflects well on the club as a whole.
"It's great for us and I probably don't want to lose him. But, if he carries on playing the way he is, the selectors have to look at him, I think it's inevitable," he explained.