Stuart Hooper, now Bath’s director of rugby and the club captain when Burgess was at The Rec, has responded to claims his teammates weren’t committed heading into the 2015 Premiership fianl.
Burgess commented on the House of Rugby podcast that Bath’s players ‘didn’t turn up against Saracens, which Bath lost 16-28, with Burgess going on to say: “I’d just come off winning a Premiership with South Sydney and I wanted to go back to back… and it just didn’t feel like the same level of commitment at Bath from a couple of players that had one eye on the World Cup.”
Hooper responded to the claims: “I was obviously captain of that Bath side, the proudest day of my rugby life to lead those boys out at Twickenham,” said Hooper
“I genuinely never looked round and thought any one of my teammates did not give their all. I never felt that.
“Anyone who has worked with me as a captain or since as a director of rugby would know that is something I would have picked up on and dealt with at the time.”
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Bath Rugby: Sam Burgess
What a corker to start off with. The rugby league superstar was signed for Bath Rugby on huge money, joining in October 2014.
His inclusion and performances at the Rugby World Cup were widely scrutinized, and seen by some pundits as partly to blame for England’s “humiliating” early pool stage exit from the tournament—the worst result for a host nation in the tournament’s history.
And following the disastrous campaign, Burgess quit rugby union after just 12 months, opting to return to South Sydney Rabbitohs, signing a three-year contract.
An absolute flop.
Bristol Bears: Tyrese Johnson-Fisher – Bristol Bears
More disappointing than bad.
The speedster, who went viral as a youngster for his four tries at Twickenham in the NatWest Schools Cup, joined Bristol last summer but left the Premiership side with immediate effect in February.
He’s since revealed he’s taken the decision to pursue other opportunities outside of professional rugby.
Exeter Chiefs: Nemani Nadolo
Signed for the club 11th Jan 2011 but was registered under his Aussie passport and therefore cost the club 2 points and £5000 for fielding too many overseas players.
He was then convicted of drink driving, banned from the road for 18 months, and released by the club in May 2011.
He failed to score a single try in his four appearances for the Chiefs. His career has done nothing but rise ever since so that’s nice.