Returning South Sydney superstar Sam Burgess will arrive back in Australia more than $210,000 poorer after shares he and members of the England rugby team reportedly bought in an oil drilling firm nosedived.
The Sun on Sunday newspaper claims Burgess invested heavily in LGO Energy along with teammates Danny Care and David Wilson after being tipped off by the squad’s kitman ahead of England’s disastrous World Cup campaign.
Burgess quit English rugby giants Bath last week just one year into a three-year contract to head back to Souths and the NRL having been made a scapegoat in sections of the British media for the hosts’ exit at the pool stages of their own competition.
The report claims that following the tip off in July that led to his initial investment, Burgess saw LGO Energy’s share price plummet from $7,00 to $2,77 before the World Cup in September and the price now stands at just over a dollar on the London Stock Exchange.
According to a source close the team, the losses led to bickering between members of the squad throughout the competition.
“In all they piled in well over six figures and now unless the share price has a spectacular recovery, they’ve lost most of their money,” the source told the Sun.
“This was going on in the background in the long build-up and during the tournament. It was a constant theme and caused no end of niggles and moaning. It was terrible for morale and pretty scandalous.
“A few of the boys put in money to the tune of tens of thousands of pounds. Sam Burgess invested the most and was furious when the price went down so much.
“The guys who invested heavily in it on this bloke’s advice were pretty irate about it. These fellas are not skint but they’re not (EPL) footballers and can’t afford to be losing that much money.”
The England RFU said it is investigating the claims.
“The RFU takes the allegations extremely seriously. It is an internal matter and we are taking the appropriate action,” a statement said.