'Definitely a consideration': Sam Burgess' comeback bombshell

Andrew Reid
·4-min read
Pictured here, Sam Burgess during a game for NRL team the South Sydney Rabbitohs.
Sam Burgess medically retired from the NRL in 2019. Pic: Getty

Braith Anasta has revealed that more than one NRL club has approached Sam Burgess about making a sensational return to Australian rugby league.

Burgess has been embroiled in a number of off-field controversies since hanging up the boots in 2019.

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The Rabbitohs premiership winner and former England international has not played professional sport since a shoulder injury forced him into an early retirement nearly two years ago.

Burgess played 182 games for South Sydney in the NRL and was named Clive Churchill medallist in the Rabbitohs' drought-breaking 2014 premiership triumph.

However, a chronic shoulder injury left the rampaging forward with little choice to but to medically retire from the sport in 2019.

Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, Burgess' adviser and fellow NRL great Anasta revealed that the Englishman had turned down two comeback offers from NRL clubs in recent weeks.

“The offers were genuine and Sam gave it some serious thought,” Anasta said. 

“They rang me and they were keen.

“It was definitely a consideration, but it’s not going to happen. The career’s over.”

Anasta confirmed that Burgess' old club South Sydney was not one of the clubs interested in his services.

Braith Anasta and Sam Burgess are seen in side-by-side pictures here.
Braith Anasta says two NRL clubs were interested in bringing Sam Burgess out of retirement. Pic: Getty

Rugby league reporter Phil Rothfield told the Big Sports Breakfast on Monday morning that South Sydney's salary cap presented a "problem for Sam Burgess playing again".

“We were told he did medically retire and his money was taken out of the South Sydney salary cap," Rothfield said.

“They were told that he had a shoulder injury that could not be repaired with any sort of surgery. I know he has been on the Gold Coast and training really hard for the show SAS.

“The problem for Sam Burgess playing again is the South Sydney salary cap.”

The curious Burgess development comes after the 32-year-old last month saw his conviction for intimidating his father-in-law quashed after a judge said there was reasonable doubt the offence occurred.

The legal dramas followed an ugly marriage breakdown between Sam and Phoebe Burgess in which the league player was at the centre of drug and domestic violence allegations.

Sam Burgess is seen here with his ex-wife Phoebe Burgess at an NRL awards night.
Sam and Phoebe Burgess' marriage ended acrimoniously in 2019. Pic: Getty

He has strenuously denied the claims.

After their marriage ended, Phoebe and the kids moved to her parents Sarah and Mitchell Hooke's Bowral property in the NSW Southern Highlands, where they currently live.

Speaking with The Daily Telegraph's Stellar, the former journalist opened up about the marriage ordeal and the brutal toll it's taken on her emotionally.

Phoebe says her two kids, aged four and two, have been vital in helping her cope with "a lot of ugly stuff" that accompany her high-profile relationship breakdown.

“I have days where I want to give up and fall apart and I just want to break – I want to go to sleep and not wake up for a while, for everything to stop, but you can’t,” Phoebe told Stellar.

“It sounds awful but being trapped in motherhood and being trapped in responsibility has saved my life.”

Younger Burgess brother Tom in spotlight

Burgess' younger brother Tom also made headlines over the weekend after a photo of him at a Gold Coast nightclub emerged in the media.

The player's fiancee lashed out after photos were taken of him talking to a mystery woman at the Queensland venue.

The Daily Telegraph published photos and video of Burgess talking to the blonde woman at Sin City nightclub on the Gold Coast in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Burgess and his Rabbitohs teammates were letting their hair down after a 40-30 win over the Titans.

"The 29-year-old father of two was filmed partying with teammates at the club that is famous for its lingerie waitresses," the Telegraph reported.

Pictured left, Tom Burgess speaks with a woman at a Gold Coast nightclub and with his fiancee Giumelli on the right.
Tom Burgess' fiancee has hit out over the nightclub photos. Image: Twitter/Instagram

The report didn't go down well with Burgess' fiancee Tahlia Giumelli, who took to social media to defend her husband.

“God forbid a female sits next to Tom on a night out with his entire team,” she wrote. 

“Would this same article be written about me if I was sat next to a guy on a night out?”

A spokesman for Rabbitohs said the players had been given the night off and everyone returned to the team hotel before curfew.

Burgess and Giumelli have two children together - two-year-old Sophie and five-month-old Elodie.

They got engaged in 2019 and are currently planning their wedding.

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