A searching fitness test at South Sydney training convinced Sam Burgess he was ready to return to the NRL from his spinal-injury scare.
Burgess played the full 80 minutes in Souths’ win over Manly at Brookvale Oval on Thursday night in his return to rugby league after a week out.
The dual international was taken to hospital after being rushed from the SCG to hospital two weeks ago.
But he showed no ill effects as he helped Souths to bounce back from last week’s 42-12 thrashing to Canterbury.
“I felt alright out there, I don’t want to say I was nervous, I was confident I could do a job, I have trained well since the St George game,” Burgess said.
“My lungs felt it more than anything throughout the game.
“I made a call early in the week and you can’t second guess yourself when you cross the line, so I felt comfortable. The body is feeling good now.”
Burgess revealed he was determined to test his recovery with teammates in a tough session prior to the round five clash with Manly.
“I did a fitness test at training, there are some pretty big boys in our forward pack there, it was tough, we replicated that game speed so I was confident,” Burgess said.
“It was a good hit out.”
If that wasn’t enough, Burgess went toe-to-toe with Martin Taupau for much of the Brookvale Oval contest.
“He is a very strong guy,” Burgess said.
“He got me there with a good hit, he got one up on me but we won the game, so it’s all good.”