Nigel Davies hails Gloucester Rugby's Freddie Burns for his ability to shoulder more responsibility
BACKLINE boss Freddie Burns is shouldering an impressive amount of responsibility, believes impressed Nigel Davies.
Gloucester's rugby director reckons fly-half Burns is controlling top-flight contests with ever-increasing prudence and nous.
Maverick attacking talent Burns just missed out on full England squad elevation for the autumn internationals.
The 22-year-old is on England coach Stuart Lancaster's injury standby list though, and met up with the national squad yesterday for a series of meetings.
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Burns will spend the rest of the week fully focused on Gloucester's preparations for Saturday's testing trip to Premiership champions Harlequins.
The Cherry and Whites take on Quins at The Stoop (kick-off 5.15pm) aiming to extend their unbeaten run to nine games in all competitions.
If Burns' on-field attacking style comes across as bullish, Davies said his developing playmaker is prudence personified behind the scenes.
Davies explained: "Overall I think he's developing very well.
"What people can't see are his leadership qualities in and around the group.
"He takes responsibility extremely well, he wants responsibility too, and there's no doubting his talents as an individual.
"He's very vocal, does a lot of research and study on his own game as well as the opposition – and he tells some of the more senior players what they should be doing, which is basically what you want from your ten."
Davies believes Burns has all the credentials to play international rugby in the future – and he admitted handling the nuts and bolts as well as the outlandish will be central to his all-round improvement.
Hailing Burns' progress, Davies continued: "He's developing all the time, it was a bit of a mixed bag from him but overall I thought it was very positive.
"He's got some great touches, his game management is the area we've been working on, but it's very good.
"There were a couple of moments on Saturday where he got a little bit lost but that's a team thing as well.
"Sometimes the ball comes back when you're not expecting it, and you have to deal with some of that possession.
"His try obviously was impressive, and he's always a danger from those kinds of situations.
"He just needs to keep going along the same lines, keep working hard, and he'll definitely keep improving."