Sam Burgess

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Sam Burgess
Sam Burgess 2017.jpg
Personal information
Full nameSamuel Burgess
Born (1988-12-14) 14 December 1988 (age 30)[1]
Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, England
Height196 cm (6 ft 5 in)[2][3]
Weight116 kg (18 st 4 lb)[2]
Playing information
Rugby league
PositionLock, Prop, Second-row
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2006–09 Bradford Bulls 88 17 0 0 68
2010–14 South Sydney 96 26 0 0 104
2016– South Sydney 80 18 0 0 72
Total 264 61 0 0 244
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2007 Great Britain 2 1 0 0 4
2008– England 24 8 0 0 32
2010 NRL All Stars 1 0 0 0 0
Rugby union
PositionCentre, Back row[4]
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2014–15 Bath 21 4 0 0 20
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2015 England Saxons 1 0 0 0 0
2015 England 5 0 0 0 0
As of 7 June 2019
Source: [5][6][7]

Samuel Burgess (born 14 December 1988), also known by the nickname of "Slammin' Sam",[8] is an English professional rugby league footballer who plays as a lock, prop or second-row for the South Sydney Rabbitohs in the NRL. A Great Britain and England international forward, he previously played in England for the Bradford Bulls in the Super League. Burgess has also played rugby union internationally for England.[5][6][7] He is one of four rugby league-playing brothers; younger brothers Tom and George are teammates at South Sydney, while older brother Luke plays for the Salford Red Devils.[9] The Rabbitohs won the 2014 NRL Premiership, the club's first in 43 years, and Burgess was named winner of the Clive Churchill Medal for man of the match in the Grand Final.

In late 2014, Burgess switched codes to play rugby union for Bath. He was called up to the England national team in August 2015, becoming a dual-code international, and was a member of England's squad for their unsuccessful 2015 Rugby Union World Cup campaign, before returning to rugby league for the 2016 NRL season.

Early life[edit]

Burgess was born on 14 December 1988 in Liversedge, Kirklees, West Yorkshire, England. 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;[10] whilst his mother, Julie, is a teacher, currently employed at The Scots College in Bellevue Hill, Sydney.[11] His older brother, Luke, and younger twin brothers, Tom and George, are also professional rugby league footballers.[12]

He attended Heckmondwike Grammar School.[13] He played his junior rugby for Hunslet Parkside, Dewsbury Moor and also played for Liversedge Cricket Club.[citation needed]

Rugby league[edit]

Bradford Bulls[edit]

Burgess playing for the Bradford Bulls 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".[14] 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 the 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.[15]

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.[16]

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 the Bradford Bulls until the end of the 2010 season, was released after the clubs agreed on a compensation fee.[15][17] 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.[18]

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.[19]

South Sydney[edit]

Burgess, with teammate John Sutton in 2012.

Before he had played a game for South Sydney Burgess played prop 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.[20]

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.[21]

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.

Burgess in 2013

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.[22] 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.[23] Sam was in a DVD about his life called 'Slammin' Sam: The Sam Burgess Story'[24] After the 2013 NRL season Burgess represented England in the 2013 World Cup.

On 17 February 2014, it was announced that at the end of the year Burgess would switch to rugby union. 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.

Burgess in 2015 playing for Bath Rugby

Rugby union[edit]

Burgess was signed for Bath Rugby in England's top competition on a three-year contract, starting from October 2014.[25] His start date was then delayed until December 2014 due to complicated surgery to fix a fractured cheek and eye socket.[26] He was seen 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.[27]

He scored his first try for Bath in the 13th round of the Premiership against Wasps at the Recreation ground and was awarded man of the match. On 21 January, he was named in the England Saxons squad to play the Irish Wolfhounds. On 10 April, Burgess started in the Aviva Premiership against Newcastle Falcons at blindside flanker. Burgess completed the most turnovers of any player in the matches of that round.

On 10 August, Burgess was named in the England Elite Squad to make his International début against France at Twickenham on 15 August, in a warm-up match for the Rugby World Cup. He started the game which England won 19-14.[28] Following his appearance where he was sin-binned, World Cup winning English scrum half Matt Dawson commented: "You can't take him to the World Cup for me. He played 80 mins and credit for that. But the way the game went in the second half there was nothing for him to do. The great thing about Burgess is he doesn't make mistakes with ball in hand. But unfortunately, if you're going to be really picky, positionally he wasn't great. He played like a six rather than a 12. There are things that are instinctively he doesn’t know what to do." Dawson's comments came before Lancaster named Burgess as one of four centres including Henry Slade to represent England in the World Cup. His inclusion and performances at the World Cup were widely scrutinized, and seen by some pundits as partly to blame for England's "humiliating" early pool stage exit from the tournament—the worst result for a host nation in the tournament's history.[29][30][31][32][33][34]

On 5 November, Burgess made the decision to leave rugby union, opting to return to South Sydney Rabbitohs, signing a three-year contract.[35]

Rugby league return[edit]

In early November 2015 it was reported that Burgess had been signed to the South Sydney Rabbitohs for $1.5m AUD per season.[36] This figure would make him the highest paid rugby league footballer of all time and in the top three highest paid of either code. In December 2015 Burgess was selected to play for the World All Stars in the 2016 Rugby League All Stars Match alongside his brother Tom Burgess.

In October 2016, Burgess was named in the 24-man England squad for the 2016 Four Nations tournament. He was also announced the new captain under new coach Wayne Bennett after original captain Sean O'Loughlin was unavailable through injury.[37]

Burgess was selected in The England squad for The 2017 rugby league World Cup. In the week leading up to the final, Burgess was made captain as Sean O'Loughlin pulled out with injury. England went on to lose the final to Australia 6-0. On 6 December 2017, it was announced that Burgess had agreed to a contract extension with Souths keeping him at the club until the end of 2019.[38][39][40]

On September 5, 2018, Burgess signed a four year contract with Souths keeping him at the club until the end of the 2023 season. The new contract deal coincided with Souths returning to form in The NRL with the club finishing third on the table at the end of the regular season. The following week, Burgess and South Sydney were embroiled in an off field incident involving Souths players exposing themselves on Instagram to a female fan back in May 2018. A report by The Daily Telegraph verified social media accounts belonging to Burgess were at the centre of the saga.[41][42][43] On 21 September 2018, Burgess was cleared by the NRL of any wrongdoing. Burgess then spoke to the media saying “I have not sexted anyone, I fully co-operated with the inquiry as I said I would. I have engaged lawyer Chris Murphy to pursue my remedies and he has retained defamation lawyers".[44][45] .


Rugby league[edit]

Rugby union[edit]

Aviva Premiership Runner-up: 2014/15


  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. ^ "Bath Rugby Official Website – 1st XV squad – Sam Burgess". Bath Rugby. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015.
  4. ^ "Sam Burgess v Tom Johnson in A-League". ESPN. 29 December 2014. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
  5. ^ a b "Profile at". 31 December 2017. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  6. ^ a b "Statistics at". 31 December 2017. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  7. ^ a b "England Statistics at". 31 December 2017. Archived from the original on 2 December 2013. Retrieved 1 January 2018.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  8. ^ "We're for Sydney". Daily Telegraph. 5 October 2017. Retrieved 15 June 2018.
  9. ^ Aldred, Tanya (19 September 2012). "Burgess rugby clan in different league to the Brownlee brothers". The Telegraph. Retrieved 20 September 2012.
  10. ^ Irvine, Christopher (26 October 2007). "Sam Burgess inspired by memory of late father". The Times Online. Retrieved 17 September 2009.
  11. ^ "Meet the magnificent Mrs Burgess". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  12. ^ "Bulls snap up Burgess twins". Halifax Evening Courier. 17 January 2008. Retrieved 17 September 2009.
  13. ^ "Sam Burgess ties the knot". The Press. 31 December 2015. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  14. ^ Wilson, Andy (5 March 2013). "Super League Set of Six: Sonny Bill Williams's return rocks Australia". Guardian. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
  15. ^ a b Jackson, Ed (30 September 2009). "South Sydney land highly-rated English forward Sam Burgess". Fox Sports. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
  16. ^ "Deacon pulls out of England squad". BBC. 16 September 2008. Retrieved 3 October 2008.
  17. ^ Walter, Brad (30 September 2009). "Souths sign England star". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 30 September 2009.
  18. ^ Laybourn, Ian (2009). "BURGESS – CROWE CLINCHED SOUTHS DEAL". 365 Media Group Ltd. Retrieved 29 October 2009.
  19. ^ Lawrenson, David (14 November 2009). "Billy Slater helps himself as Australia outclass brave England". UK: Guardian News and Media Limited. Retrieved 25 November 2009.
  20. ^ Hadfield, Dave (13 June 2010). "Widdop passes his first Test at a canter". The Independent. UK: Independent Print Limited. Retrieved 8 July 2010.
  21. ^ "Burgess suspended one week for grapple". Retrieved 9 October 2017.
  22. ^ "Rugby league history as FOUR English brothers star for Russell Crowe's side". Mirror. 30 August 2013. Retrieved 19 October 2013.
  23. ^ Stuart Honeysett (16 April 2014). "Squirrel grip aside, I'm not a dirty player: Sam Burgess". THE AUSTRALIAN. Retrieved 8 October 2014.
  24. ^ "Tender side of Slammin' Sam". Retrieved 9 October 2017.
  25. ^ "Bath sign England league forward Sam Burgess from the Rabbitohs in a cross-code switch". BBC Sport. 17 February 2014.
  26. ^ "Burgess undergoes complicated surgery". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  27. ^ DUNCAN JOHNSTONE (9 October 2014). "Sam Burgess' transfer to rugby union delayed". Fairfax New Zealand. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
  28. ^ "England beat France 19-14 in Rugby World Cup warm-up" BBC Sport. 15 August 2015. Retrieved 16 August 2015.
  29. ^ Stephen Jones (4 October 2015). "A lost cause:Vital lessons must be learnt if England are to recover from the earliest exit of any host nation at a Rugby World Cup". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 4 October 2015.
  30. ^ Sam Peters (4 October 2015). "As England crash out of the Rugby World Cup after humiliating defeat by Australia, where did Stuart Lancaster get it wrong?". The Mail On Sunday. Retrieved 4 October 2015.
  31. ^ Andy Bull (4 October 2015). "England fans were deluded but not as much as Stuart Lancaster". Guardian. Retrieved 4 October 2015.
  32. ^ HUGH GODWIN (3 October 2015). "Rugby World Cup 2015: There's no way back after England exit, Stuart Lancaster has to go". Independent. Retrieved 4 October 2015.
  33. ^ Oliver Holt (4 October 2015). "England out of Rugby World Cup 2015: Wallabies cast Stuart Lancaster's future into doubt… only the worst hosts leave their own party this early". The Mail On Sunday. Retrieved 4 October 2015.
  34. ^ "Sam Burgess: 'Egos and selfish players' behind England's 2015 World Cup exit". Guardian. 27 November 2018. Retrieved 28 November 2018.
  35. ^ "Sam Burgess leaves Bath to rejoin South Sydney Rabbitohs" BBC Sport. 5 November 2015. Retrieved 5 November 2015
  36. ^ "Sam Burgess signs with Rabbitohs: Star forward tops NRL rich list". 6 November 2015. Retrieved 9 October 2017.
  37. ^ "Sam Burgess named England captain for Four Nations". BBC. 17 October 2016. Retrieved 23 October 2016.
  38. ^ Bower, Aaron (1 December 2017). "Sam Burgess to lead England in World Cup final as Sean O'Loughlin ruled out". the Guardian. Retrieved 15 June 2018.
  39. ^ "Kangaroos win Rugby League World Cup in tense final against England". 2 December 2017. Retrieved 15 June 2018.
  40. ^ "NRL contracts 2018: Sam Burgess among Rabbitohs signings, Alex Walmsley, Dylan Napa — Market Watch". 5 December 2017. Retrieved 15 June 2018.
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External links[edit]