Sam Burgess has been granted leave by club side Bath to consider his future in the code
England World Cup player has featured in union for less than a year
Return to his old stomping ground South Sydney Rabbitohs is the likely destination
England and Bath centre Sam Burgess could be on the brink of quitting rugby union and has been granted time away from the 15-man code to consider a return to rugby league.
The English rugby union saw Burgess as their answer to Sonny Bill Williams – a big ball-playing rugby league forward who can transfer those skills to the backline midfield of the 15-man game.
However, reports coming out of Australia suggest that the big-name rugby league convert could make a dramatic return to the 13-man code less than 12 months after joining Bath.
The stories suggest he could be rejoining NRL club the South Sydney Rabbitohs, where he is renowned as a hero, less than a year after switching codes.
Burgess’ brothers Tom and George have just agreed on contract extensions with the NRL team, which has only fueled the ongoing speculation.
But although Bath head coach Mike Ford confirmed Burgess would be rested for Saturday’s Premiership game with Harlequins, he rubbished reports of him leaving the club.
“It is frustrating, and I think most of it is made up,” Ford told BBC Radio Bristol.
“There has always been a story there with Sam, and this is the latest one.”
Brought up in the quiet West Yorkshire town of Dewsbury, Burgess quickly rose to stardom in Rugby League on a tragic backdrop that saw the then teenager become his Motor Neurone-suffering father’s carer.
Despite the death of his father, Burgess soon became a mainstay of the international set-up before switching to Australia, where he went out in a blaze of glory; leading his South Sydney side to their first league title for 43 years with a stunning Man of the Match performance despite suffering a severely fractured cheekbone just seconds into the game.