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Burgess Confirms Bombshell Claims He's Considering Dramatic NRL Return

Sporting News logo Sporting News 17/09/2020 12:07:00 Ed Chisholm

Sam Burgess has confirmed he's mulling with the idea of making a dramatic NRL return less than 12 months after announcing his retirement.

The legendary Englishman hung up the boots last year due to a chronic shoulder injury that plagued his second stint with South Sydney, taking up a consultancy role with the club this season working alongside Wayne Bennett.

However, a bombshell report from The Daily Telegraph claimed Burgess was considering a shock return to the field this season having trained alongside his former Rabbitohs teammates since the NRL returned back in May.

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Addressing the shock rumours, the 31-year-old told Fox League he'd developed a taste recently to return to the field, hinting he could make a spectacular return to the NRL next year.

"I'd be lying if I said it hadn't crossed my mind. Being back in the bubble and training, the body feels pretty good," Burgess told Fox League ahead of the Rabbitohs' clash with the Bulldogs on Thursday.

"It's just a dream at the moment but I've really been enjoying being back around the team, it's been great and just seeing them improve day by day. I'm not sure if it's my influence that's made a difference.

"It's just good to be around [the team] doing what I enjoy the most."

Burgess is arguably one of rugby league's greatest ever forwards, having played 270 games across two stints with the Rabbitohs after beginning his journey in the Super League with Bradford

The Rabbitohs icon was instrumental in delivering the Rabbitohs their first premiership in 43 years when they claimed the title in 2014, and his return would be considered one of the most incredible stories the game has told.

However, Burgess has long-held aspirations to enter the coaching fold as told by his role with the Rabbitohs, and fellow retired NRL great Braith Anasta believes a return to the field could delay those plans.

"There's a fair chance," Anasta, who is a close friend of Burgess', said of the Englishman's potential NRL return.

"I know since being back in the bubble he's extremely fit, he's training hard and he's got that buzz and feeling again. It wouldn't surprise me if he put the boots on next year.

"I know he has huge aspirations to coach and there's huge wrap on him in there at the club that he can be a first-grade coach in the future down the track, he's got to make that decision.

"There's reality there that he could be playing next year but he needs to make the decision whether he puts the boots back on or he takes on the coaching role which I think he's got aspirations to do that."

While Burgess has understood to be training daily inside the Rabbitohs bubble, questions remain over his durability, having retired on medical grounds due to a chronic shoulder problem from repeated reconstructions. 

There is also the issue of the Rabbitohs' limited salary cap space, however the Daily Telegraph reports Burgess was open to returning on a minimum wage contract.

Broncos and Queensland legend Ben Ikin has no doubts that if the Rabbitohs can fit Burgess in their cap for next season, he would turn them into a "premiership force".

"He's one of the greatest enforcers we have ever seen in this game," Ikin said on Fox League.

"His capacity to set the mood for his team and influence the result considering the position he plays, which has been in the middle, I think is as good as I've seen from a forward.

"I just think that would be such a wonderful story. If I'm Wayne Bennett I'm not thinking about going to that next club if Sam Burgess is playing, I'm staying with the Rabbitohs.

"If Sam Burgess drops back into this team, they immediately become a premiership force, that's the truth."

17. syyskuuta 2020 15:07:00 Categories: Sporting News

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