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Lowes: Burgess code switch "huge blow" to RL

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:


McNamara: Burgess switch feasible

Sam Burgess could make a successful switch of codes, according to England rugby league head coach Steve McNamara.

Sam Burgess has been linked with a switch to Union Credit: Press Association

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.

Lancaster rebuffs Burgess union switch

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.

Burgess has been linked with a switch to union Credit: Press Association

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.

Burgess decides not to appeal ban

Sam Burgess will miss England's game with Ireland in Huddersfield Credit: Press Association

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.


Burgess brothers set to make history

Three brothers from Dewsbury will hopefully make Rugby League history later this month by stepping out together for England in the World Cup.

Sam Burgess and his identical twin brothers Tom and George - who now live and play in Australia - are all in Steve McNamara's 24 man squad for the competition. At the moment they're at England's training camp in South Africa, where our cameras caught up with them. John Shires reports.

RL star caught up in Hurricane chaos

Sam Burgess Credit: Press Association

England rugby league international Sam Burgess has been caught up in the havoc wreaked by Hurricane Sandy on the east coast of the United States. Burgess, 23, the former Bradford forward who now plays for South Sydney, was holidaying in New York when the storm struck.

"He's stuck in his apartment and his flight back to Sydney has been cancelled but he's not too worried," said brother Luke, 25, a Souths team-mate who is currently with the England squad in Loughborough training for Saturday's international against France.

Sam, who was forced to miss England's autumn internationals because of a knee injury, wrote on Twitter: "Hurricane is picking up here down in Lower Manhattan. Safe indoors though. My only worry is the food rations we may be on overnight."