Sam Burgess

Richardson arrives in UK to meet Burgess
By Ian Laybourn
07:51 AEST Mon Nov 2 2015


Sam Burgess’ early exit from rugby union moved a significant step closer with the arrival in England of the NRL’s head of strategy Shane Richardson to discuss a possible return to Sydney.

Richardson, who as South Sydney chief executive finalised the team’s signing of Burgess from Bradford six years ago, has flown over for the Test series between England and New Zealand.

But Press Association Sport understands, he will also seek to negotiate a deal to buy the dual-code international back from Bath using the marquee player fund implemented by outgoing CEO Dave Smith to attract and keep big name stars in the NRL.

If Burgess decides to return to the 13-man game in Australia, his salary could reportedly be worth up to $1.5 million a season plus uncapped third-party deals.

According to News Corp Australia he will make more than Kangaroos captain Cameron Smith and the game’s No.1 player Johnathan Thurston and become the NRL’s highest earner.

Richardson, who left Souths at the same time as Burgess to take up his current role, was a guest of Rugby Football League chief executive Nigel Wood at Twickenham for Saturday’s Rugby World Cup final and was present at the first rugby league Test match between England and the Kiwis at Hull’s KC Stadium.

It is clearly the remit of Richardson to remove the only stumbling block to Burgess’ return to the 13-man code - Bath’s insistence on the return of the bulk of the 500,000 they reportedly paid to the Rabbitohs only 12 months ago.

The 26-year-old Burgess, who was a controversial selection for England’s World Cup squad ahead of more established players, has two years left of his contract with Bath and is due to return to the Aviva Premiership club on Monday after being given time off to consider his future.

However, Bath coach Mike Ford admitted the player “didn’t quite feel right” when he initially returned from his unhappy stint with England during their failed World Cup campaign and Press Association Sport understands he told his former rugby league team-mates at their international with France last weekend that he has played his last match of rugby union.

A stark comparison between the almost hysterical criticism heaped on Burgess for his inability to make a bigger impact in rugby union and the idolatry he still enjoys in Sydney, where he defied a shattered cheekbone to lead them to a first premiership for 43 years, makes his return to the Rabbitohs inevitable.

Super League champions Leeds have been linked with a move for the Dewsbury-born player but Burgess clearly feels he has a loyalty to Souths after they agreed to release him early from his contract to enable him to pursue his dream in the 15-man game and also to owner Russell Crowe, the Hollywood actor who lured him to his beloved Rabbitohs six years ago and with whom he remains close friends.

Younger brothers Tom and George recently signed new contracts which will keep them at the club until the end of 2018 while older brother Luke plays for another Sydney club, Manly Sea Eagles, and their mother Julie lives in Sydney after emigrating to Australia four years ago.

In addition to those family ties, Burgess is known to have plans to marry his Australian girlfriend Phoebe Hook in Sydney in December which all points to a confirmed return within days.




This whole deal imo does not sit right with me. Richardson who now works for the NRL not Souths is over in England negotiating a deal for him to return to Souths ? Salary of 1.5M plus 3rd party deals, does this salary come under the Souths salary cap or is a special deal ?

How come the strong clubs get stronger and looked after its got me buggered.

Don’t worry

The Hayne Plane ,Izzy Folau and SBW will be back soon as well

We won’t get close

Would be ridiculous if true, which I suspect it isn’t.
Actually have just seen Brad Walter of the SMH tweeting that Richardson isn’t involved at all and the NRL won’t be topping up anything.
Another Dean Ritchie triumph

so yeah, how come the NRL is helping out here? and people wonder why the competition is a little more lopsided these days than in the past

I’d like to see who Souths would be releasing to free up over a million bucks under the cap! That would be 3-4 decent players (who’d need to be replaced in the cap still) or a marquee player and 1-2 others. They would have to release Walker and Sutton for example, plus maybe even another player just to squeeze him in.

And they’d need other clubs to be paying full contract value or else they’d still be paying for half the value of the players they let go, which wouldn’t free up the necessary space.

Don’t know how they could do it without totally changing their entire squad for next season. At this late stage i’m not sure that’s possible.

To be fair to Souths they have lost Issac Luke who would have been on good coin and Glenn Stewart who replaced Sam.

The discussion is that they are looking to let go McQueen and Dylan Walker - those 4 should more then cover Burgess given they haven’t signed anyone new of note and didn’t last year other then Stewart and TIm Grant (who despite being ex origin was playing NSW Cup)

I’d take Walker in a flash… How good would it be to have a quality Centre on the Right!

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@Boonboon2:

To be fair to Souths they have lost Issac Luke who would have been on good coin and Glenn Stewart who replaced Sam.

The discussion is that they are looking to let go McQueen and Dylan Walker - those 4 should more then cover Burgess given they haven’t signed anyone new of note and didn’t last year other then Stewart and TIm Grant (who despite being ex origin was playing NSW Cup)

McQueen I can understand, but why on earth would they want to let Walker go? He’s the only strike centre they’ve got! Surely they could find someone a bit less valuable to shed. That said, I’d have both of them here in a heartbeat - I know… I’m dreaming 😆

It’s happening.
I’m really not one for conspiracy theories, but the salary cap really isn’t working when you see things like this.

Burgess = overrated bum.

@cktiger:

Burgess = overrated bum.

Ironic

@cktiger:

Get back behind your keyboard and dream that you could ever achieve anything that anyone might recognise.

Take your own advice Ck.

He is back… confirmed by the bunnies today. be interesting to see who they let go or if a sweet heart deal was struck with the NRL.

http://www.nrl.com/rabbitohs-confirm-sam-burgess-return/tabid/10874/newsid/90796/default.aspx

He’s anything but overrated.

@Cultured Bogan:

He’s anything but overrated.

Yeah,great player,unbelievable that England RUWC side couldn’t find a place for him in the Fwds.,2nd row or breakaway,the players they had looked like a pack out of the 1960’s,slow lumbering Dinosaurs,definitely needs a new coaching direction in my Neville Nobody opinion.

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