Sam Burgess

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Sam Burgess
Sam Burgess (cropped).jpg
Burgess in 2011
Personal information
Full name Samuel Burgess
Born (1988-12-14) 14 December 1988 (age 26)[1]
Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, England
Height 196 cm (6 ft 5 in)[2]
Weight 116 kg (18 st 4 lb)[2]
Playing information
Rugby league
Position Second-row, Lock, Prop
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2006–09 Bradford Bulls 88 17 5 0 78
2010–14 South Sydney 95 26 0 0 104
Total 183 43 5 0 182
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2007 Great Britain 2 1 0 0 4
2008–13 England 13 7 0 0 28
2010 NRL All Stars 1 0 0 0 0
Rugby union
Position Centre, Back row[3]
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2014– Bath 8 1 0 0 5
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2015– England Saxons 1 0 0 0 0
As of 30 January 2015
Source: Rugby League Project

Sam Burgess (born 14 December 1988) is an English professional rugby union player for Bath Rugby of the Aviva Premiership. He previously played rugby league as a Great Britain and England international representative forward and in the South Sydney Rabbitohs of the National Rugby League and in Super League for English club Bradford Bulls. Burgess was persuaded by Russell Crowe, co-owner of NRL club, South Sydney Rabbitohs to sign and move to Australia to play. Since doing so Burgess has been selected to play for the NRL All Stars, named captain of the Rabbitohs and had his brothers Luke, Tom and George move over to play professionally in Australia as well.[4] In 2014 Burgess won an NRL Premiership with the Rabbitohs before returning to England to play rugby union.

Early life[edit]

Burgess was born on 14 December 1988 in Liversedge, Kirklees, West Yorkshire. His late father, Mark Burgess, who died of motor neurone disease, was also a rugby league footballer who played for Nottingham City, Rochdale Hornets, Dewsbury and Hunslet;[5] whilst his mother, Julie, is a teacher, currently employed at The Scots College in Bellevue Hill, Sydney.[6] His older brother, Luke, and younger twin brothers, Tom and George, are also professional rugby league footballers.[7]

He attended Heckmondwike Grammar School. He played his junior rugby for Dewsbury Moor and also played for Liversedge Cricket Club.[citation needed]

Rugby league[edit]

Bradford Bulls[edit]

Burgess playing for Bradford in 2008

Burgess made his Super League début against Leeds in 2006 after already being dubbed by Shontayne Hape as "Great Britain's Sonny Bill".[8] After a highly successful début season with the Bulls, Burgess was awarded the Senior Academy Player of the Year Award by the club. In 2007 Burgess has established himself as a first team regular. After a great full season he was called up for the Great Britain squad for the 2007 Test series with New Zealand, and was named as young player of the year in Super League. Burgess made his Great Britain début against New Zealand in the 1st test in October 2007, scoring a try. Burgess also played in the centenary match between the All Golds and Northern Union; he was awarded the Man of the match. He gained attention for his big hit on New Zealand prop Fuifui Moimoi during the Kiwis' 2007 tour when he was only 19 years old.[9]

At the end of 2008's Super League XIII, Burgess was forced to rule himself out contention for the England 2008 World Cup squad because of injury.[10]

In September, 2009, the South Sydney Rabbitohs announced they had signed Burgess on a four-year deal from the 2010 season. Burgess, on contract at Bradford until the end of the 2010 season, was released after the clubs agreed on a compensation fee.[9][11] South Sydney co-owner and A-list celebrity Russell Crowe persuaded Burgess to choose his club over others that were competing for his signature, after inviting Burgess and his mother to the set of Robin Hood, which he was filming in England at the time.[12]

Burgess, in his last game in the UK before moving to the NRL, played a prominent role in the final of the 2009 Four Nations tournament, scoring two tries in England's loss to Australia.[13]

South Sydney[edit]

Burgess, with teammate John Sutton in 2012.

Before he had played a game for South Sydney Burgess played prop forward for the NRL All Stars in the inaugural All Stars match after Rabbitohs prop Dave Taylor injured his ankle at training. It was played at Skilled Park on the Gold Coast on 13 February 2010. The NRL All Stars lost the game 16–12.

He was selected to play for England against France in the one-off test in 2010.[14]

Burgess was given a one week ban by the NRL judiciary for a grade one grapple tackle. He was placed on report during Round 21, against the Canterbury Bulldogs, for a grapple tackle made on Canterbury fullback Ben Barba. Burgess therefore missed the Round 22 clash against Wests Tigers. This suspension came at a fairly pivotal time in the season, as forwards Michael Crocker, Luke Stuart, Scott Geddes, and Dave Taylor had all been ruled out from the clash already.[15]

Burgess continued to represent England at the end of the season in the 2010 Four Nations tournament.

His shoulder was injured in the first game of the 2011 NRL season against the Roosters on 11 March, for which he needed surgery and a month of rest. However, as soon as he came back from that, he injured his ankle and is out for the remainder of 2011.

In August 2013, the Burgess brothers became the first set of four brothers to line up in the same Australian side since Ray, Roy, Rex and Bernard Norman played for Sydney's Annandale club during the 1910 NSWRFL season.[16] That year, Burgess was banned for two games following his infamous “squirrel grip” on Will Chambers — where Chambers's testicles were grabbed during a game.[17]

Sam was in a DVD about his life called 'Slammin' Sam: The Sam Burgess Story'[18]

After the 2013 NRL season Burgess represented England in the 2013 World Cup.

In what was his last match for South Sydney, Burgess, along with brothers Tom and George played against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs in the 2014 NRL Grand Final. Despite suffering a broken cheekbone in the first tackle of the game, Burgess continued to play on, with his team winning the match. He was awarded the Clive Churchill Medal for best player in the grand final. Taking into account the retrospective Clive Churchill medal awarded to Ron Coote in 1971, Sam Burgess was the first South Sydney player to claim the medal in 43 years.

Rugby Union[edit]

On 17 February 2014, it was announced that at the end of the year Burgess would switch to rugby union. He was signed for Bath Rugby in England's top rugby union competition on a three-year contract, starting from October 2014.[19] His start date is now delayed till December due to complicated surgery to fix his fractured cheek and eye socket.[20] He is seen, potentially, by the English rugby union as their answer to Sonny Bill Williams — a big ball-playing rugby league forward who can transfer those skills to the backline midfield in union.[21]

He scored his first try for Bath in the 13th round of the Aviva Premiership against Wasps at the Recreation ground and was awarded man of the match. The final score was 39-26 to Bath keeping them at second place a point behind the leaders Northampton.

On the 21st of January, he was named In the England Saxons squad to play the Irish Wolfhounds.


  1. ^ Stott, Julie (6 October 2010). "England Four Nations Pen Pics". News of the World (UK: News Group Newspapers Ltd.). Retrieved 6 October 2010. 
  2. ^ a b Riley, George (17 February 2014). "Sam Burgess: Bath's recruit from rugby league can crack union". (BBC). Retrieved 2 July 2014. 
  3. ^ "Sam Burgess v Tom Johnson in A-League". ESPN. 29 December 2014. Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
  4. ^ Aldred, Tanya (19 September 2012). "Burgess rugby clan in different league to the Brownlee brothers". The Telegraph. Retrieved 20 September 2012. 
  5. ^ Irvine, Christopher (26 October 2007). "Sam Burgess inspired by memory of late father". The Times Online. Retrieved 17 September 2009. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Bulls snap up Burgess twins". Halifax Evening Courier. 17 January 2008. Retrieved 17 September 2009. 
  8. ^ Wilson, Andy (2013-03-05). "Super League Set of Six: Sonny Bill Williams's return rocks Australia". Guardian. Retrieved 2013-05-17. 
  9. ^ a b Jackson, Ed (2009-09-30). "South Sydney land highly-rated English forward Sam Burgess". Fox Sports. Retrieved 2013-05-17. 
  10. ^ "Deacon pulls out of England squad". BBC. 2008-09-16. Retrieved 2008-10-03. 
  11. ^ Walter, Brad (30 September 2009). "Souths sign England star". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 30 September 2009. 
  12. ^ Laybourn, Ian (2009). "BURGESS – CROWE CLINCHED SOUTHS DEAL". (365 Media Group Ltd). Retrieved 2009-10-29. 
  13. ^ Lawrenson, David (2009-11-14). "Billy Slater helps himself as Australia outclass brave England". (UK: Guardian News and Media Limited). Retrieved 2009-11-25. 
  14. ^ Hadfield, Dave (2010-06-13). "Widdop passes his first Test at a canter". The Independent (UK: Independent Print Limited). Retrieved 2010-07-08. 
  15. ^
  16. ^ "Rugby league history as FOUR English brothers star for Russell Crowe's side". Mirror. 30 August 2013. Retrieved 19 October 2013. 
  17. ^ Stuart Honeysett (April 16, 2014). "Squirrel grip aside, I’m not a dirty player: Sam Burgess". THE AUSTRALIAN. Retrieved 8 October 2014. 
  18. ^
  19. ^ "Bath sign England league forward Sam Burgess from the Rabbitohs in a cross-code switch". BBC Sport. 17 February 2014. 
  20. ^
  21. ^ DUNCAN JOHNSTONE (9/10/2014). "Sam Burgess' transfer to rugby union delayed". Fairfax New Zealand. Retrieved 10 October 2014.  Check date values in: |date= (help)

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Sonny Bill Williams (Sydney Roosters & New Zealand)
RLIF International Player of the Year
Succeeded by