Peter V’landys says the NRL will investigate explosive allegations levelled against former South Sydney star Sam Burgess.
The Australian newspaper published a bombshell report about Burgess on the eve of the NRL’s finals series on Friday after a four-month investigation.
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The report includes disturbing allegations against the South Sydney Rabbitohs, as well as about Burgess’ personal life and time in the NRL.
Speaking on 2GB radio on Friday, Australian Rugby League Commission chairman V’landys said the NRL would launch an investigation.
“We’ll investigate them, no doubt about that,’’ V’Landys said.
“But I stress, all parties including the South Sydney club, Sam Burgess deserve due process and natural justice.
“Once we have all the information we’ll make the appropriate decisions.
“It would be totally inappropriate for me to comment on this particular case, I don’t have sufficient facts.
“And like anyone else in the community you have to provide due process and natural justice and Sam should be afforded that.
“But in this instance I think the appropriate action would be to investigate it, get all the facts and make a judgment after that.’’
Burgess’ lawyer Mark O’Brien strongly refuted the claims in a statement to the Australian.
“The allegations are false and constitute an indefensible defamation against my client,” Mr O’Brien said.
“It is apparent sources of the false allegations are those currently in dispute with my client over various issues.”
Calls for Sam Burgess to stand down
The allegations have shocked the NRL world, with a number of high-profile journos calling for Burgess to stand down from his role as a South Sydney assistant coach while they are investigated.
“The allegations are just shocking,” Phil Rothfield of the Daily Telegraph wrote on Twitter.
“Sam needs to step down pending a full investigation.”
Channel Nine’s Danny Weidler echoed that sentiment.
“Souths and Sam Burgess have serious questions to answer today,” Weidler wrote on Twitter.
“I’ve put the broader allegations to those who should know in recent times and they were denied.
“These details demand that Burgess and other officials be stood down whilst investigated.”
Burgess played for the Rabbitohs from 2010 - 2014 and 2016 - 2019.
He was the Clive Churchill Medalist as man of the match in Souths’ 2014 grand final triumph.
In between his stints at South Sydney he played rugby for Bath and represented England at the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
The 31-year-old was ‘medically retired’ at the end of the 2019 season due to persistent shoulder injuries and is currently serving as an assistant coach at Souths.
Burgess and ex-wife Phoebe recently separated after four years together.
They have daughter Poppy, 3, and son Billy, 1, together.
Shortly after their separation an Apprehended Violence Order was taken out against Burgess by NSW Police on behalf of Burgess' father-in-law Mitchell Hooke.
The AVO application hearing is due to come before Moss Vale Local Court on November 6.
Burgess has pleaded not guilty and denied any wrongdoing.
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