Bath coach adamant Burgess will stay

Bath are adamant Sam Burgess will see out the remainder of his contract at the Recreation Ground.

Burgess is thought to be seeking a route back to rugby league with South Sydney after growing disillusioned with life in union following heavy criticism aimed at him during England’s disastrous World Cup campaign.

The 26-year-old returned to training on Monday upon the completion of a 10-day break in Spain having made one replacement appearance for Bath on the opening weekend of the Premiership season before being given time off to gather his thoughts.

“Yes we expect Sam to stay. He has got two years left on his contract,” Bath head coach Mike Ford said on Tuesday.

When asked if Burgess had told him he wants to leave, Ford said: “No. We’ve had a good talk about everything, as we have had with all the World Cup players, asking what they want to do.

“Sam wanted to come in and the plan was for him to be picked on the bench for the first two Premiership games of the season and then start the next two.

“He came to training and played the first game, but then he came to training on the Tuesday after and that’s when it hit him.

“After the World Cup, it hits people in different ways. Everyone is different and with Sam it was a case of go away, take 10 days off. In that time there’s been a lot of speculation.

“Sam’s frame of mind since he’s come back has been brilliant. He’s come in and cracked on and has trained very well for these couple of days. It’s good.

“He went with the forwards, units split, line-outs, mauls, scrums. He looked like he was enjoying himself. It was bit of a defence day as well, which is up his tree. He’s been good.”

South Sydney face potential competition for Burgess from Super League club Leeds, who say they have contacted Bath over his availability and have expressed a willingness to pay a transfer fee.

When asked about Leeds’ interest, Ford said: “Well they haven’t for a start. The one thing with Sam is that there’s always speculation following him.

“What’s shocked me a little bit is that it’s never died down since he first came over 12 months ago. There’s always a story to be written.

“I’ve just been told about the Leeds story. It’s all speculation because I’ve not heard anything about that.”

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