Sam Burgess says he will return to the NRL a better athlete after his 12-month stint in rugby union.
Burgess arrived in Sydney from England on Wednesday and fronted the press to answer questions about his return to South Sydney.
“I learnt a lot about rugby union,” he said. “It’s different training to what I’ve done in the backline and as a forward in rugby union, so I think it improves me as an athlete all round.
“I enjoyed the sport but I think deep down rugby league gave me something different to rugby union.
“It’s not a mock of rugby union at all, because I certainly respect what the players go through, but I think personally I just play with passion and heart, so the sooner I got back it was probably the best.
“I was always a league player in union, I don’t think that ever changes. I felt really comfortable in the environment, but it’s just the perception, how you’re portrayed by the media and whatever.”
Burgess added he would remain at the Rabbitohs long-term, revealing South Sydney were the only club he considered returning to.
“I’m here for a long time now. I love South Sydney, I never questioned looking elsewhere at any of the clubs.
“I would find it very hard to put a different shirt on. I love this club, the experience I had here over the five seasons I played are unbelievable.
“I watched Souths very closely. Our schedule over there meant it was very hard to keep up with live.
“I think a few guys left last year … but it’s been great watching players grow. Greg (Inglis) and John (Sutton), Luke Keary have all stepped up in certain areas of the game. I’m really looking forward to just stepping in amongst the guys.
“I can’t wait to start training with them and start knuckling down.”