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Burgess set for All Stars fixture

Sam Burgess will make his official return to rugby league in the NRL All Stars match after being named in Wayne Bennett's World side.

Sam Burgess is set to return to league in February Credit: Press Association

The dual-code international, whose inclusion is subject to finalising his NRL contract with South Sydney, is one of four Sydney-based England internationals selected in the team to play the Indigenous side at Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium on February 13.

He is joined by brother Tom, former St Helens forward James Graham and Halifax-born stand-off Gareth Widdop.

Cameron Smith will captain the side while Johnathan Thurston will lead the Indigenous team, who are aiming to win the annual pre-season fixture for the third time in a row.

Burgess returns to South Sydney Rabbitohs

Sam Burgess has signed for the South Sydney Rabbitohs, the Australian Rugby League club has announced.

Sam Burgess has returned to the South Sydney Rabbitohs Credit: Press Association

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.


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.

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