Roosters fearful of Burgess’ return

The Sydney Roosters are wary of Sam Burgess’ intention to make an immediate impact upon his return to the NRL in Sunday’s round one clash.

Burgess will play his first rugby league game in almost 18 months at Allianz Stadium when the Roosters and South Sydney renew their heated, century-old rivalry.

The dual international has often saved some of his biggest moments for the Roosters and the Tricolours fear their season opener could be just the first step on Burgess’ path to reasserting himself as one of the NRL’s most destructive forwards.

“Souths have two of the superstars in our game in Greg Inglis and Sam Burgess and I think they have openly admitted they missed him last year,” Robinson said on Wednesday.

“It is a big challenge for our forwards come Sunday and I’m sure Sam will be ready to make his mark on the NRL again.”

In his last game against the Roosters before his defection to rugby union, Burgess played a key role in ending the Tricolours title defence in the Rabbitohs’ convincing preliminary final win in 2014.

Sonny Bill Williams returned to rugby league in the corresponding game three years ago, only to be met by a rampaging Burgess when Souths also enjoyed victory.

Burgess enjoyed a low-key comeback for the Rabbitohs in the trial win over Gold Coast at Pizzey Park three weeks ago, in his first official hitout with the club since his ill-fated stint in English rugby union.

Inglis has also enjoyed a low-key return to full fitness after undergoing knee surgery late last season that hampered his end to 2015.

Robinson has a new fullback in Blake Ferguson following the defection of Roger Tuivasa-Sheck to the Warriors.

“It would be nice to see GI and Blake come together at some stage,” Robinson said.

“GI has been one of the best players in our game over the last decade and Blake has moved into a role which allows him to express lots of different talents, that’s what fullback does.

“Let’s see how they go.”

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