Billy Burns will not feel 'conflicted' if he plays against England

‘I will be all about getting the win for us’: Billy Burns insists he won’t feel ‘conflicted’ if he plays for Ireland at Twickenham after switching allegiances from England

  • Billy Burns won the Junior World Cup with England but now represents Ireland 
  • The Ulster fly half made his Test debut for Ireland from the bench against Wales 
  • Burns has insisted he will be fully focused on a positive result against England

Former England Under 20s star Billy Burns says he will not feel ‘conflicted’ if he is asked to fill in for injured Ireland No 10 Johnny Sexton at Twickenham.

Burns won the Junior World Cup for England in 2014, alongside the likes of Maro Itoje, but has since pledged his allegiance to Ireland.

He qualifies through his grandfather and moved to Ulster two years ago, before making his Test debut from the bench against Wales last week.

Former England Under 20s star Billy Burns insists he will not feel ‘conflicted’ at Twickenham

Sexton was on Monday ruled out of Saturday’s game against England with a hamstring injury, meaning Burns or Ross Byrne are set to fill in.

‘I won’t feel conflicted at all,’ said Burns. ‘I am very much here to play for Ireland, my passion is to play for Ireland, so there will be none of that. 

‘If I do get the opportunity and things go well with the return to play [protocols], I will be all about getting the win for us, it doesn’t matter whether we are playing England, New Zealand or whoever.

Ulster fly half Burns won the Junior World Cup for England in 2014 but now plays for Ireland

‘My mum and all that, they were mad for it, huge Ireland fans. My dad has always had his Ireland jersey on. 

‘It will be an interesting one this weekend going against England, obviously I have a lot of friends back there, went to school back there, so we will see where their loyalties lie this weekend.’

Burns must first pass his return-to-play protocols, having suffered a head injury on Friday night. 

Burns (second from left) is pictured above tackling Wales’ Owen Watkin in Dublin on Friday

He has been receiving messages of support from his family, including former England No 10 Freddie Burns, who is currently playing in Japan.

‘I have three older brothers and we are all very tight,’ said Burns. ‘There were plenty of messages before the game. I was pretty calm going into the game but every time I got a message from one of them it was the thing that made me probably most nervous, I didn’t want to let any of them down.

‘It was great support, they sent me some nice videos before the game. A proud moment for not just myself but my family and the people who have helped me along the way to get to this stage. Like I said, I don’t want to be in for just one game. I want to try and get back in that squad and play regularly.’

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