Burton made his international debut on 10 March 1879 at Edinburgh in the Scotland vs England match. He was considered a very fast and "brilliant player" when the ball was in the open. A good friend of Arthur Budd, he was similar in style in that he was known to do little work in the scrummage itself, but contributed significantly to their club, Blackheath FC and England. He also captained Blacheath for a time. Also considered a fine dribbler, attributed to his education at Winchester, and a sure tackle. Of the 6 matches he played for his national side he was on the winning side on 4 occasions. He played his final match for England on 19 March 1881 at Edinburgh in the Scotland vs England match.