How the union dream faded for Burgess

HOW SAM BURGESS FARED IN THE 15-MAN CODE:

2014, February 17: Announces he is leaving rugby league side South Sydney Rabbitohs at the end of the season to switch codes and join Bath.

October 5: Wins man-of-the-match award – with a fractured cheek and eye-socket – in the NRL final victory over Canterbury Bulldogs.

November 28: After returning to fitness, makes a 17-minute debut for Bath against Harlequins as a centre.

December 12: Starts for Bath for the first time, again at centre, in a victory over Montpellier.

January 10: Scores his first union try for Bath against Wasps.

Jan 21: Chosen in a 24-man England Saxons squad to face the Irish Wolfhounds and makes a quiet appearance in the 18-9 win nine days later.

April 10: Starts for Bath at flanker for the first time. He had previously played at number six for their ‘A’ side.

May 20: Picked in Stuart Lancaster’s initial 50-man World Cup training squad despite being uncapped.

August 15: Sin-binned on England debut in a World Cup warm-up against France, but shows promise at inside centre.

Aug 27: Named as one of four centres in final World Cup squad, ahead of Luther Burrell. The decision provokes widespread debate.

Sept 5: Earns a second cap as a substitute in warm-up against Ireland.

Sept 18: Comes on as a replacement in England’s tournament-opening win over Fiji at Twickenham.

Sept 26: A first competitive start in crunch showdown against Wales. England lose 28-25 as Burgess lasts 70 minutes, leaving the field with England ahead.

October 3: A fifth and final England cap, as a second-half substitute in the defeat to Australia. Not included in the squad for the final group game against Uruguay.

Oct 17: Comes off the bench for Bath in the their Premiership season opener and receives a yellow card.

Oct 24: Pictured sitting next to England’s rugby league coach Steve McNamara, watching the national side defeat France 84-4 in Leigh.

Oct 28: Given a 10-day break by Bath, whose head coach Mike Ford says he “didn’t feel quite right”.

November 1: Brother Tom, an England international in league, says Burgess has “been treated a bit unfairly” in union and suggests a decision on his future is imminent.

Nov 2: Returns to Bath training after a break in Spain.

Nov 3: League side Leeds Rhinos announce interest in signing Burgess.

Nov 4: Bath owner Bruce Craig suggests Burgess will see out his two-year deal: “As far we’re concerned he’s with us and will continue playing for us.”

Nov 5: Reports say Burgess has left Bath and will move back to South Sydney.

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