South Sydney may have been wondering whether Tom Burgess’ future lay elsewhere following his NFL sojourn.
But Burgess says the experience has only made him faster and stronger – which he’s now ready to apply to the NRL.
The English Test prop worked out with five NFL clubs during a working holiday in the United States over the summer with the full blessing of Rabbitohs head coach Michael Maguire.
A big fan of the American game, Burgess has previously spoken of his desire to follow in the footsteps of San Francisco’s Jarryd Hayne and play in the NFL.
After drawing physical comparisons to New England Patriots star Rob Gronkowski, Burgess trialled at tight end.
He says he remains committed to the Rabbitohs and is contracted until the end of the 2018 season.
Questions were raised about whether his future was in America but he sought to allay fans’ fears he was headed for an early exit from his Rabbitohs deal.
He said his American visit had made him a better athlete and he was expecting the Rabbitohs to reap the benefits.
“The ability to move and agility, that’s a big part of their game and that’s what I looked at,” Burgess said of his training stint.
“Being a bigger bloke and defending against smaller guys, I learned a lot.”
For Burgess, the NFL remains a far-off dream but he says he will probably return to the United States next year in a bid to further his chances.
“It’s pretty far down the line so I’m not even thinking about it yet,” Burgess said.
“If I did move over there, that’s a long way away.
“But the things I learned are very transferable to (rugby league).
“NFL is more about learning the plays.”