It’s only a matter of time before Sam Burgess is back in the NRL.
That’s the opinion of England coach Steve McNamara who has predicted the South Sydney premiership-winner could return to Australian rugby league within six months.
Burgess has been forced to wear heavy criticism after a less than stellar showing in England’s ill-fated 2015 rugby World Cup campaign.
After switching to union late last year, Burgess made his national debut just nine months after his first game before being selected for the World Cup.
The 26-year-old has two years left on his contract with Bath and his club coach Mike Ford has predicted he will stick around in union until the 2019 World Cup.
However McNamara, who knows Burgess well having coached him at English Super League club Bradford, predicted his former charge would return to his first love – rugby league.
“At some point I am sure he will come back – whether that is six months, 12 months, three years, five years, who knows,” McNamara told BBC.
“It is the game he was brought up with.”
The Rabbitohs dearly missed Burgess’ aggression and go-forward this year and would be welcomed back with open arms by coach Michael Maguire.
Maguire has revealed that ironically it was Burgess’ experience at the 2013 Rugby League World Cup which inspired his code switch.
In his book `A Year To Remember’, which will be released on Wednesday, Maguire said Burgess told him of his decision to move to the 15-man code in a meeting in late 2013.
Burgess’ appearance for England at the league World Cup stirred his patriotic streak and ignited his desire to play in the 2015 Rugby Union World Cup in his native country.
“When we sat down, Sam had been back from the World Cup in England for a few weeks,” Maguire wrote.
“He told me how special that experience had been and how it stirred up his love of his country.
“He’d discovered that he wanted to represent England in the 2015 Rugby World Cup, a huge event that would be the biggest honour for an Englishman playing a rugby code as it would take place on their home soil.”