Clive Woodward described the RFU as "arrogant" and a "laughing stock" after Sam Burgess announced he would return to AustraliaRead the full story ›
England's handling of Sam Burgess came in for renewed scrutiny and criticism as his return to rugby league was rubber-stamped.Read the full story ›
Sam Burgess has signed for the South Sydney Rabbitohs, the Australian Rugby League club has announced.
Burgess had switched codes to play for Bath, and featured in England's ill-fated Rugby World Cup campaign. The 26-year-old made 26 appearances for Bath, but had reportedly grown disillusioned with Union.
The switch comes less than 24 hours after Bath owner Bruce Craig stated that Burgess would be seeing out the remainder of his contract.
Sam Burgess: "I'll just let my performance do the talking on Saturday. I don't want to make any bold predictions. But I'll be ready."Read the full story ›
Bradford Bulls coach James Lowes believes Sam Burgess's defection to Rugby Union is a major blow to Rugby League.
Burgess, who began his career with the Bulls before moving to South Sydney, where he took the game in Australia by storm, was officially unveiled today by Premiership club Bath.
But Lowes, who has coached in both League and Union, and knows Burgess from his time on the England coaching staff, says he's sure "Slammin' Sam" will be a huge hit:
Sam Burgess could make a successful switch of codes, according to England rugby league head coach Steve McNamara.
Bath are favourites to lure the 25-year-old former Bradford forward to the Aviva Premiership in a deal which, it has been claimed, could be part-funded by the Rugby Football Union.
Both the RFU and Burgess' Australian club South Sydney have played down the speculation but it is thought a deal will go through if Bath are prepared to meet the asking price of around £500,000 for a player still under contract to the end of 2016.
Burgess, who was man of the match in England's World Cup semi-final defeat by New Zealand at Wembley in November and runner-up to Jonathan Thurston as 2013 Golden Boot winner, is seen as a likely future England captain if he stays in the game.
As Bradford coach, McNamara gave Burgess his Super League debut at the age of 17 and was assistant to Great Britain boss Tony Smith when the former made his international debut against New Zealand in 2007.
He has yet to speak to Burgess over his proposed switch but has no doubt the player could adapt to the 15-man code, where he is seen as an inside centre.
England Rugby Union coach Stuart Lancaster has denied that the RFU has made an approach to sign the Dewsbury-born Rugby League star Sam Burgess.
Along with his three brothers, Burgess is currently playing for the South Sydney Rabbitohs in Australia.
But there has been mounting speculation that he will sign for Bath at the end of the season, with a view to playing in the Rugby Union World Cup next year.
England have decided not to appeal the one-match ban handed out to Dewsbury forward Sam Burgess for his high tackle during Saturday's 28-20 opening World Cup defeat by Australia at the Millennium Stadium.
Burgess was placed on report by referee Henry Perenara for the swinging arm that concussed Brisbane second rower Sam Thaiday in the second half of the match and on Monday was given a one-match ban by an international match-review panel after being found guilty of a grade A careless tackle.
Burgess had the right to contest the decision at a hearing at the Rugby Football League's Leeds headquarters but England announced that he will not be appealing the decision.
It means he will miss Saturday's second group A game against Ireland at a sold-out John Smith's Stadium in Huddersfield but is set to return against Fiji at Hull a week later.
Australia coach Tim Sheens says his team must stop ex-Bradford Bulls star Sam Burgess to make a winning start to their World Cup campaign.Read the full story ›