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Thursday Nov 5, 2015

Sam Burgess leaves Bath and Rugby Union to go back to League

Sam Burgess leaves Bath and Rugby Union to go back to League
21
Comments

Will he, won’t he? We now know he will, and he has. With immediate effect. The Sam Burgess experiment is over, and it leaves rugby fans wondering ‘What if?’. What if he had more time, what if he was played in his best position and what if we had been treated to seeing the League legend at his very best. We will never know.

Burgess has left Bath and is heading home to his beloved South Sydney Rabbitohs, to continue playing Rugby League in the NRL, with two of his three brothers.

The 26-year-old was part of England’s Rugby World Cup campaign that ended in a Pool Stage exit. He was there ahead of Luther Burrell, who had every reason to feel hard done by.

While Bath used the NRL star as a flanker, England played him at centre at the World Cup. It didn’t all go to plan, and post tournament Burgess requested some time off to evaluate things.

Bath coach Mike Ford appeared to be under the impression that he was set to return to the club, to take up a role in the backrow this season, but with rumours rife this week, it has now been confirmed that he is on his way back ‘home’ to Australia.

Former England hooker and outspoken pundit Brian Moore tweeted earlier: “The Burgess story is a lesson in one thing – world cups are not the place to try out untested talent.

Others have been sharing this very unfortunate advert that featured Burgess.

While Union fans are naturally disappointed that we won’t see more of him playing our wonderful game, we do wish him well in his future endeavours at the Rabbitohs, and at least Russell Crowe will be happy to have his Sparkly Eyed Man back.

In this video from BT Sports’ Rugby Tonight we see Brian O’Driscoll discussing the situation, summing it up with ‘It kinda seems like a no-brainer to me’. 

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21 Comments

  • drg
    5:54 PM 12/11/2015

    I haven't seen it yet, so I can't comment on whether I reckon he's gone down for me too... but, I would argue that in reality, any player would be more likely to blame others rather than themselves. If it is blatantly obvious like... I dropped the ball as I dived over the line to score.. then I can understand they'd look a bit of a dick trying to shift the blame... However SB fell short on the pitch due to his inexperience, who is to blame for that? On one hand if he stands up and says "yes it's my fault because I was inexperienced"... that sort of doesn't mean it is his fault... If you're a full back and I decide to stick you in the front row for my team and you're abysmal, is it your fault or mine? Yeh, you were the one that was abysmal (your fault), but I was the one that handed you the shirt (my fault)....But you took the shirt (your fault), but if you didn't take the shirt, I'd think you weren't committed (my fault)... so perhaps it was Sam Burgess own selfishness in accepting nod that is to blame, but if the coach (the all seeing and all knowing rugby guru) reckons you're ready, who are you to question him? I think it was totally wrong for SB to be picked to start, or even picked for the squad, especially at centre, but I feel just as sorry for him now as I did when I first heard that the RFU was paying to bring him over and the media got hold of it as if he was going to single handedly win the RWC for England...

    Reply
  • sybaris
    7:20 AM 11/11/2015

    Having seen his recent interview on TV this morning he's gone right down in my estimation. He seems to have blamed everybody bar himself.

    Reply
  • drg
    8:22 PM 08/11/2015

    I don't think anyone that wasn't picked would have walked into the AB 9th team...however what they did have was experience and a clear loyalty. Burgess was only just testing the waters in Union, he was exposed as a back rower at Bath and found to be better suited and in reality he blossomed in that position, instead of being a super sub, he gets thrown into the centres as a starter (which is incredible), ahead of some tried and tested players and exposed to be in water far too deep too soon. Then when the going gets tough, he gets gone.. obvious choice and totally don't blame him, but it goes to show it wasn't a good choice to throw him in too quick. I think the damage to England has yet to run it's course. IF Lancaster stays, what will the 6N unveil? Will Burrell be back in the centres? Will he have faith in his coach? I mean, yes he won't want to turn down a chance to play for England, but your coach has showed sod all faith in you.. he dropped you 'for a league bloke who doesn't even play centre'... what does that say about him, you and the set up you're involved in...?? But going back to your original point, I feel Burgess has been wronged in the sense that he was thrown in with the big boys before his time and it along with whatever personal reasons have caused him to leave Union before he really had a chance to blossom.

    Reply
  • sybaris
    6:15 AM 08/11/2015

    The one thing I must add before signing off is if we'd had sufficient outstanding quality in the backs would we have really been looking for the Big Sam miracle? Some of the players that were "dumped", to quote some other sources, seem to have become World beaters because they didn't play!!

    Reply
  • sybaris
    6:04 AM 08/11/2015

    Oh don't get me wrong while I'd have admired him more had he stuck with the programme, as the Americans would say, I understand his move. It's all the bullshit that's been written by the media and those ex-internationals. When Union went professional it became a hostage to money. Again I'm not saying that is wrong. Ultimately though the coaches and management must shoulder the blame for the Burgess saga and even more importantly the debacle that was England's woeful performance at RWC 2015. Trying to fast track an admittedly supremely talented player into the side was just another symptom of Lancaster's muddled thinking. It was clear going into the biggest tournament in Union that he had no clear vision of either is best side or the style of play he wanted. Burgess was a symptom not the cause of it.

    Reply
  • drg
    5:44 PM 07/11/2015

    I suppose if it is required to write it in more plain terms, then you're right, we're not suggesting Burgess was locked in a cage, forced to eat the rats scurrying around his cage whilst being subjected to humiliating games of....well you get the picture... What we are suggesting is that Burgess was done a great injustice by the RFU and by the England management. Being selected to play in an RWC would be great, but playing in an RWC for a team that puts in a record breakingly bad performance is probably about as far from a dream as possible... So the bad treatment, what does it mean? It means a player with great potential; who was learning his trade on the flank, was strangely picked ahead of some brilliant players to play in a position he was not practised in, he was left open and his inexperience was exposed. The last we see is him hanging around clearly thinking "this **** isn't for me..." and off 'home' he goes... so to sum up, his talents and potential were not nurtured and as usual with England, he was blown up beyond his time and then tossed on the pile with all the other 'failed projects'.

    Reply
  • sybaris
    8:23 AM 07/11/2015

    Oh come on please and stop all this crap about Burgess' bad treatment. He's been selected for a RWC (A Union players dream) made a shed load of cash.

    Reply
  • drg
    9:34 PM 06/11/2015

    In some respect, look at Scotland over the recent years. Their defence was unbelievably good over the years, but their attack was dire, now they've adjusted their plan to attack and therefore lost some of their defence, however they've gained winning potential.

    Reply
  • ollie
    2:26 PM 06/11/2015

    Big shame for all concerned. But maybe the silver-lining is if Bath now have the budget to get Armitage to the Rec...

    Reply
  • colombes
    12:46 PM 06/11/2015

    From smashing the 'union' door to escaping by the 'league' window I never understand why people thought he would become like Sonny Bill or Israel. Think big doesn't always mean big ideas

    Reply
  • danknapp
    11:54 AM 06/11/2015

    Always welcome a bit of Devil's advocate. Surely the lesson from this world cup was that attack beats defence at the moment in world rugby. Sam Burgess could have been a game changer ten years ago, but I was impressed at how well contained he was at the world cup. I think England have looked best over the last four years when they have picked a team to attack and win a game, and at their worst when they've tried to strangle a team to death. I don't want to watch a team defend really well, I want to see them blow the socks off the other team. Yes, a defensive game worked for a time against Wales, but with all due credit to the Welsh (who were absolutely immense in that last ten mintues against us) they aren't top 4 material. No team from the NH was, this world cup. To be the best you've got to be able to attack.

    Reply
  • 45678
    10:01 AM 06/11/2015

    to play devils advocate, you could easily argue that the conservative game plan was working against wales. they then completely undid everything by changing the backline and bringing off Farrell and burgess. What I cant understand is how we were playing such good rugby in the 6N with a young side and then we decide to mess with the formula. maybe after being bullied in the Ireland game, it killed any chance of ambition and we reverted to type?

    Reply
  • ihc
    9:43 AM 06/11/2015

    Andy Farrell should be getting all the blame for this whole experiment. As I understand it he was the one who (after personally demonstrating in 2007 that you can't hurriedly rush a Leaguer into Union at RWC level) went chasing after Burgess in the first place when England were on Tour in Australia. In Nowell, Burrell, Joseph, Slade, May, Watson, et al England have some great backs who just need to be better managed into a cohesive and potent attacking force. You don't need big lugs like Burgess, Tuilagi, Barrett, Tindall (!) just as the Wallabies realised they didn't need a Mortlock in their centres. Give me silky skills and uncompromising team-spirit over a big one-dimensional lump any day.

    Reply
  • kissmeimirish
    1:51 AM 06/11/2015

    I think everybody expected him to be a Sonny Bill or an Izzy Folau,.. He doesn't have the offload these two have but he would have done well from the backrow keeping the tackle count going up and carrying hard. Needed more time and Lancaster rushed him,.

    Reply
  • drg
    12:10 AM 06/11/2015

    Agreed, whilst on another page we're talking about the inclusion of Armitage and stating it would not have been the difference between a win or a lose, I also don't feel that the exclusion of Burgess would have altered the outcome either. England set up was a mess, players seemingly picked for all the wrong reasons and as you said Dan, they appeared to pick players to do damage control.....

    Reply
  • drg
    12:05 AM 06/11/2015

    The guy is an elite athlete.. He needs to delude himself into thinking he is a game changer and the worlds best... otherwise he'll doubt himself and probably start to slip... I read somewhere that the management are the people that are in charge of telling player that they're ready to play, all the players are is coiled up springs, ready to set off... If the management sets you off, as an athlete you'll play to your best and if you aren't ready then that is their fault, not yours...

    Reply
  • drg
    11:40 PM 05/11/2015

    The 'excuse' (if you can call it that) was that he stated he was missing his family, so with that in mind, it sounds like he was perhaps more keen to go back regardless, however maybe a more successful campaign would have seen him stick around longer (build up of confidence/excitement etc). Fortunately for SB, I think the world backs him, they feel that he was hard done by.. The media bigged him up, suddenly he was starting for England?!?! It was just all wrong, had he had an uncle in the RFU you could probably start to connect the dots as to how he got into the England set up... I think perhaps if he'd been brought into the RWC campaign as a powerful flanker sub he'd have been better suited.. England would probably have still got knocked out, but had SB had a good time, he may have stuck around and who knows, RWC 2019 he could be a real contender.. But as BOD says, it's kind of an obvious outcome...

    Reply
  • danknapp
    11:12 PM 05/11/2015

    It's hard to see how he could possibly be blamed for anything that happened at the RWC. Lancaster et al need to be appraised, it is clear that their coaching and selection was lacking. When it came down to it they went for conservative choices rather than picking the best side. They chose a team to not lose, rather than to win games, and that doesn't work at this level.

    Reply
  • 45678
    10:59 PM 05/11/2015

    I was under the impression that his inclusion in the squad was forced by the RFU and in the interests if sponsors like Canterbury. Lancaster and co made a rod for their own backs. The selection disaster started by excluding Hartley and it all fell apart after. Dean Ryan put it perfectly after we were knocked out Hartley's removal meant we lost scrum and line out dominance. We then selected parling instead of Atwood, to make up for the lack of quality line out, reducing the grunt, meaning we then had to select players in the backline who could get over the gain line. Net result was the backline was exposed and forwards not dominant. Burgess was shoe horned in to add physical presence It's all semantics now. Even the best xv would have made the semis at best, so it's all irrelevant I feel sorry for burgess. I hope he isn't the scapegoat that allows Lancaster and Farrell to stay. Would like to see an experienced head, whatever nationality with people like wilkinson and Johnson used in some capacity Change needs to happen as this tournament was a disaster

    Reply
  • danknapp
    8:18 PM 05/11/2015

    Would he have stuck around if he hadn't been picked for the world cup? I think he had the skill set to make it in union, but didn't give himself enough time to do so. It is a shame, but I can go back to watching him for the Rabbitohs, so it isn't the end of the world. Union's loss is League's gain. I wish the guy the best of it. He's been through a hell of a lot and simply deserves happiness in this life.

    Reply
  • jimmy23
    6:46 PM 05/11/2015

    Well that's a massive shame, I think we can thank Lancaster and co. for that one. Why they thought he was an international centre when he's been playing the game for less than a year mostly at FLANKER is beyond me. Like Matthew Tait, he was thrown into the deep end far too quickly. I reckon he could have been a great player and I think everything that's happened to him over the past few weeks has been incredibly unfair. So I hardly blame him for making this decision. I know I have been critical of his selection in the past but it was never because I disliked him, I just never thought he was experienced enough. You can't blame the lad for wanting to play for his country, anyone would if they were offered, but it's up to the coaches to decide when is right and help them make the transition. Best of luck to him.

    Reply
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Sam Burgess leaves Bath and Rugby Union to go back to League | RugbyDump - Rugby News & Videos