Saints signing Burrell aiming to follow in Foden’s England footsteps

Pictures by Linda Dawson

Pictures by Linda Dawson

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LUTHER BURRELL believes a move to Northampton can help him realise his England ambitions.

The 24-year-old swaps Sale Sharks for Saints this summer, where he will link up with Jim Mallinder, who has a habit of developing players for the national squad.

The likes of Ben Foden and Chris Ashton were relative unknowns before moving to Franklin’s Gardens but they are now key members of the England side.

Foden, like Burrell, moved to Saints from Sale, and he is now one of the best full-backs in world rugby.

And Burrell is aiming to show his own worth by impressing at club level and catching the eye of England boss Stuart Lancaster.

The centre worked with Lancaster during his time in the Leeds Academy and now he’s hoping a move to Saints can spark a reunion, at international level.

“I worked with Stuart at Leeds for a number of years and he was delighted when he got the England job because he’s a brilliant coach and he knows what he wants from his players,” Burrell told The Rugby Paper.

“He knows me really well and it would be a dream to pull on that England jersey, but for the moment it’s just one step at a time.

“I need to get my head down at Northampton and establish myself there.”

Burrell is setting his sights on the Saints No.12 shirt vacated by Irish ace James Downey, who has moved back to Munster.

And the Huddersfield-born player believes lining up alongside the likes of George Pisi and Saints’ England stars will bring out the best in him.

He said: “I see myself as a 12 and where I want to progress. It will be magnificent to have boys like George Pisi outside me.

“There’s a lot of potential at this club and I think they’ve got about six or seven boys in the England squad, which is brilliant and is only going to make me a better player.”