Freddie Burns can still force his way back into RBS 6 Nations reckoning despite spurning a match-winning opportunity in England Saxons’ 14-8 Ireland Wolfhounds defeat, according to Jon Callard.
Saxons head coach Callard backed Burns to keep the pressure on senior England fly-half front-runners Owen Farrell and George Ford.
Gloucester playmaker Burns struck the post with a conversion and a penalty to miss out on five points, and then passed into touch as the Saxons closed in on an overtime winning try.
England claimed an intercept try through Bath’s Anthony Watson, but Ireland squeezed home thanks to scores from Isaac Boss and Ian Madigan.
England head coach Stuart Lancaster sent Burns into Saxons action at club ground Kingsholm to help the 23-year-old build confidence after his two-month deliberation over leaving Gloucester, with Leicester his expected summer destination.
Lancaster can choose between Burns and Northampton’s Stephen Myler to fill the third Six Nations fly-half berth, but Callard does not view Burns’ Saxons showing as a setback.