The NRL has denied reports its head of strategy, Shane Richardson, is in England trying to buy Sam Burgess back to rugby league.
Richardson, who was South Sydney’s CEO at the time of Burgess’ departure, was reported to be in England to meet with representatives from rugby union club Bath to negotiate a transfer fee and pave the path for the 26-year-old’s return to rugby league.
However, a spokesman for the NRL says Richardson is simply there on duties for the Rugby League International Federation and to attend Test matches between England and New Zealand.
This was backed up by the rugby convert’s younger brother, Tom.
“I’ve just (spoken) to Richo and he’s not here to sign Sam, he’s here as part of the International Federation,” he told the Press Association.
“I think he’s here for about a week and he’s going to the London game too.”
While CEO David Smith announced his resignation for November 30 and has reportedly already cleared his desk, the NRL’s war chest for marquee players still remains the discretion of the game’s CEO.
But AAP understands the money is designed to keep a marquee player in the game, rather than to lure one back.
Burgess, who endured a disappointing World Cup campaign with England, is expected to return to Bath on Monday after being allowed time by the club to reconsider his playing future.