Burr credits his move to the Waikato for big improvement in his game

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The success of Hautapu’s Hamilton Burr with the Waikato Chiefs has sparked media interest in his Scottish homeland.

The mass-circulation Scottish Sunday Times has reported his elevation to the Chiefs line-up under the heading: “Hamilton Burr reaps rewards of turning his back on Scotland”.

And in the lengthy article, Burr says he’s loving his New Zealand experience in which he’s mixed rugby with off-the-pitch roles that have included helping on a stud farm and building swimming pools.

“I’m on the end of shovels, digging holes and moving concrete. I think I covered eight kilometres one morning, just doing 20m there and back,” he told reporter Mark Palmer.

“It’s good for young players to experience hard graft. All the young guys in the academy have apprenticeships, like building, or they study. They all have things outside rugby, including the New Zealand Under-20 boys.”

Burr: ‘Coming over here has developed me night and day …’

The feature credits Dave Rennie, the former Glasgow coach who won two Super Rugby titles with the Chiefs, for helping Burr (25) connect with Hautapu Sports Club where he has settled.

“Flitting between the No 4 and No 6 jerseys, he has thrived there, and he and his partner have settled well off the pitch, too.” the story says.

Three years after leaving Scotland, where opportunities to break into the country’s professional game were limited, he made a tryscoring debut for the Chiefs against Moana Pasifika.

“There really wasn’t much opportunity in Scotland, so I felt I had to do something,” he says.

“If you don’t adapt, if you don’t swim, you sink. As much as I loved playing for Stirling County and playing in Scotland, I didn’t think it was going to bring me on to the next level.

“Coming over here has developed me night and day, on the pitch and off it. I couldn’t advocate going abroad to play rugby any more to any young player in Scotland.”

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