Storm watch on NRL powerhouse Burgess

While the spotlight has been on former Melbourne players lining up against their old NRL team, the Storm see Souths powerhouse Sam Burgess as the man to stop.

The Englishman was a standout in his side’s heart-breaking final minute loss to the Roosters in round one.

Burgess was one shy of leading the tackle count for the Rabbitohs, topped hit-ups and easily led all run metres.

Storm coach Craig Bellamy was impressed by the 23-year-old.

“He’s one hell of a player,” Bellamy said ahead of his side’s clash with Souths at AAMI Park on Sunday night.

“I watched him in the Charity Shield and he was enormous.

“I can’t remember too many more Englishmen coming out and making more of an impression and I can remember Mal Reilly.

“He’s someone we’ll have to keep a close eye on on Sunday night.”

As well as their coach Michael Maguire, who was formerly an assistant at Melbourne, the Rabbitohs have Greg Inglis, Matt King and Michael Crocker in their lineup.

Storm forward Bryan Norrie said friendships would be forgotten once the whistle blew on Sunday night.

“They look well-drilled and they’re a very big side,” Norrie said.

“They play aggressive football and they played really well last week.

“Obviously their coach is from here but from what I hear he’s got his own ideas.”

Norrie also had praise for Burgess and said his forward pack would have to step up; rating the Bunnies as one of the best in the competition.

“Sam Burgess is a special footballer; I think he played the 80 minutes and he got plenty of off-loads and he’s such a big strong player.

“He was outstanding and we know that we’ve got our work cut out with him.”

Norrie said the side hadn’t been bothered by the furore of their tackling technique that stemmed from a 24-19 win over Canberra.

“It’s a bit of a laugh down here.

“I think Craig summed it up well when he said it was only two or three tackles they were complaining about and there were hundreds in the game.”

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