It’s the news South Sydney fans have been waiting for – golden boy Sam Burgess is back.
The Rabbitohs have confirmed Burgess has signed a three-year deal, ending a miserable 12-month stint in rugby union with English club Bath.
“I want to thank everyone at England Rugby and Bath for some great memories over the last 12 months,” Burgess said in a statement.
“I must also thank Bath especially for granting my release to return home to my family who I have missed more than I could have imagined.
“I am also extremely excited to be joining back up with South Sydney. I cannot wait to get back into the Rabbitohs’ culture, full of great people and passionate members and supporters.”
Burgess left the NRL to follow his World Cup rugby union dream with England but the team was eliminated in the group stages of the competition and he was harshly criticised, many believing he was made a scapegoat for host nation’s premature exit.
He played five Rugby Test matches for England including the 2015 Rugby World Cup, one match for England Saxons and made 26 appearances for Bath.
The rampaging forward endeared himself with Rabbitohs fans when he put in a Clive Churchill Medal-winning performance in the 2014 NRL Grand Final where he played virtually the entire game with a fractured face following a head-clash with James Graham of the Bulldogs.
Nobody is more pleased to have the 26-year-old back than Souths head coach Michael Maguire.
“I could not be happier to see Sam coming home to the Rabbitohs,” Maguire said.
“He had an enormously positive impact on our club, both on and off the field, throughout the five seasons he was here, and to be bringing back one of the game’s most dominant players is fantastic for not only our club, but the game itself.
“He will add starch to our forward pack, and he will bring his leadership qualities to the team as well.
“The next chapter is for him to return to the game he was born to play, and we’re over the moon that he is coming.”