Sam Burgess says he’s no saviour and has cautioned South Sydney fans against banking on him to single-handedly revive the Rabbitohs’ NRL title hopes.
Many figured Burgess’s return to Redfern after an ill-fated stint in English rugby would mean problems solved for Souths, who had their 2014 premiership defence ended abruptly by Cronulla in the first week of last year’s finals.
But eight games into his comeback to rugby league and the Rabbitohs are looking more like bunnies as they languish on the 12th rung of the ladder with just three wins from nine starts.
The 2014 Clive Church Medallist says he can’t do it on his own.
“People saying that probably don’t know a lot about team sport. Team sport’s not about one person or two people,” Burgess told AAP.
“It’s not even about a 17-man squad. It’s about the full 30-man squad that we’ve got there.
“It’s about everyone pulling their weight.”
Unfairly seen as the scapegoat for England’s Rugby World Cup flop on home soil last year, Burgess has had little luck since returning to the NRL.
The powerhouse prop was hospitalised after a sickening collision against St George Illawarra, with fans and family fearing he’d suffered a serious neck injury.
But he was back in action two weeks later before hurting the same ankle that required a reconstruction five years ago in Souths’ last-up loss to Wests Tigers.
Burgess hopes to be fit to tackle scandal-hit Parramatta on Friday night at Pirtek Stadium, but is warning Souths fans not to expect miracles as he continues his comeback to full form and fitness.
“I think with some people expectations sometimes outweigh reality,” he said.
“I’m not going to try and be the guy that everyone’s writing about. I’ve just got to do my job for the team. It’s quite simple.
“As long as my teammates are happy, that’s the main thing.”
Burgess hopes to be hitting his straps towards the back-end of the season.
“I’m getting there. I don’t think I’m playing my worst football. I don’t think I’m playing my best,” he said.
“The challenge is I want to play my best every week for the team.
“I think I’ve shown glimpses of it and now it’s down to doing it for a full 80 minutes – just general game, general fitness. I’m not lacking anything.
“I’ve actually been content and happy with my game.”