The two brothers have lined up against each other on several occasions but as Freddie told RugbyPass, one member of the family will be happy those days are over when Bath meet Gloucester in round two.
Freddie said, “It means Mum will probably lay off the brandy. It takes a little bit away from it personally, it was always great playing up against my brother but he made a tough decision and a big decision to go and ply his trade over in Ulster which is great.
“I’ve spoken to him, he seems to be enjoying it. Also, I never met my Grandad but he was Irish and I know that my Dad’s immensely proud to have one of the brothers over in Ireland representing a great province, so it’s great for him. I’ll be flying over on the Saturday after the Bristol game, I’ve got a morning flight over to watch him on his debut which will be quality.”
Burns’ preseason with Bath has seen him get to know several new faces, including former Harlequins, Wales and British Lions centre Jamie Roberts. Burns adding, “It brings a real fresh energy, even your slightly older guys like Dr. Jamie Roberts – he comes in and because it’s a new environment, he’s full of energy. I think there’s a real excitement in the squad this year.”
Burns continues, “Rugby’s now got to that stage where it’s probably getting more like football. Every summer, there’s ten or eleven faces out, ten or eleven in. Whilst you can complain it doesn’t give you continuity year on year, we’ve got plenty of time to implement what we want to throughout preseason.”
Bath’s opening visit to Ashton Gate on Friday 31st August renews one of rugby’s oldest rivalries and Burns is eager to get stuck in.
He said, “I cant wait. It’s brilliant to have Bristol back in the league. Growing up, I used to watch them when they played at the Mem. Now at Ashton Gate, they’ll be excited to be back in [the Premiership] with the great squad they’ve got. Ashton Gate will be buzzing on that Friday night – you want to play in these big derby games. That adds to the excitement of building and wanting train well and perform well in these preseason games so you can have a crack at that Westcountry derby on that Friday night.”
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