Dylan Walker won’t be moved aside to accommodate the return of Sam Burgess to South Sydney, according to Rabbitohs boss John Lee.
Burgess’ return to the Rabbitohs was announced on Friday, just two days after Walker fronted the Souths board to answer questions over the prescription drug overdose he suffered in September alongside Aaron Gray.
Recent speculation surrounding Burgess’ return from English rugby club Bath was met with conjecture over whether Walker would be moved on to make room in the salary cap.
However, Lee is adamant the former Kangaroos centre and 2014 premiership winner isn’t on his way out of the club.
“I really want to make it clear publicly today that we did have a matter following the season with the hospitalisation of Aaron (Gray) and Dylan … but we’re not talking about releasing one individual or another person at this stage,” Lee told Sky Sports Radio.
“There is some work to be done to make sure we have Sam totally within the cap, but as you know before the end of the season Glenn Stewart was released.”
Souths coach Michael Maguire backed his chief executive’s stance.
“I don’t know anything about that (Walker leaving), as far as I know he’s got a year’s contract with us,” Maguire told Triple M.
“At the moment we’re still looking at what needs to happen there (in regards to the salary cap). We haven’t got anything to tell and it’s going to take a bit of time to work through.
“These sorts of things are a changing environment all the time.”
Lee, however, could not confirm whether other players would be forced to move on.
Back-rower Chris McQueen is one player who might make way for Burgess.
“There is some room but there is a little bit more work to be done,” Lee said.
“There will be a timing issue here where we have to re-examine our roster and look to see what is firmly in place for the seasons 2016 and 2017 onwards.”