Burgess facing fitness battle
George Burgess is battling desperately to overcome a leg injury in time for England's final World Cup group game against Fiji in Hull on Saturday.
The 21-year-old South Sydney prop played less than a quarter of the match in England's 42-0 win over Ireland on Saturday after taking a blow just below his right knee in the opening moments.
"It's really swollen at the minute," said Burgess, who played on for another 15 minutes before coming off. "I'll be working hard to get it right for next week and the rest of the tournament.
"I think it was my first carry so a bit of a nightmare there. These things happen in sport and you've got to get on with it.
"I'll definitely be trying to get it right for next week. I'll ice it up and it should be alright.
"I've not missed a game yet this year through injury and I don't intend to."
The Dewsbury-born Burgess was forced to watch from the sidelines as England cruised into a 30-0 lead after 23 minutes with a hat-trick of tries from left winger Ryan Hall, two from right winger Tom Briscoe and one from the outstanding Brett Ferres.
They added only two more, through Kallum Watkins and Rangi Chase, in the last 57 minutes as they played into a stiff breeze and driving rain but it was an emphatic way for Steve McNamara's men to bounce back from their opening 28-20 defeat by Australia at the Millennium Stadium.
"It's great to get the first win of the tournament and hopefully we can get a few more," Burgess said.
After his impressive debut in Cardiff, Burgess' curtailed involvement on his first appearance at the John Smith's Stadium, where the 24,375 crowd amounted to a stadium record, came as a disappointment to an army of friends and family but he was planning to renew a few old acquaintances on a visit to his old amateur club Dewsbury Moor on Sunday.
"It's good to catch up with old friends," he said.
With older brother Sam set to return from a one-match suspension and George's twin Tom likely to keep his spot, there is the prospect of three brothers playing alongside each other at the KC Stadium, where Tariq, Korbin and Ashton Sims are expected to once more line up for Fiji.
McNamara is confident that prop James Graham, who made his first appearance of the tournament from the bench, will shake off a knee injury and his biggest selection dilemma could come on the right wing, where Tom Briscoe made the most of his opportunity after being surprisingly chosen ahead of Josh Charnley.
Centre Leroy Cudjoe looks to have cemented his place at left centre after a commanding performance against the Irish and that will have come as some relief to McNamara following rumours that Zak Hardaker has become the latest England player to be punished for a breach of discipline.
Second-rower Gareth Hock was thrown out of the England camp in circumstances that have not been completely explained and former captain Graham was missing from the opening match against Australia amid reports of him, like Hock, breaking an alcohol ban.
When asked why he was omitted for the opening game, Canterbury Bulldogs' former St Helens forward replied: "It's not my thing to talk about selection policy. You'd have to ask the coach."
McNamara, who cut short a press conference in Cardiff when continually quizzed over the non-selection of Graham, was again in prickly mood on Saturday when asked about Hardaker, who was not chosen for either of the first two matches but was absent from the John Smith's Stadium.
"Zak wasn't at the match due to illness," McNamara said. "But there were seven players not picked."
At stake in Saturday's match is the runners-up spot in group A and a possible quarter-final with France at Wigan on Saturday, November 16.