Reborn Tom Burgess aims for more with South Sydney

As he enters the prime of his career, 120kg South Sydney prop Tom Burgess says the death of rugby league's big man has been exaggerated.

The introduction of the six-again rule in 2020 increased the speed of NRL games to the point where pace in the forwards was prioritised over power.

But after Souths coach Jason Demetriou began starting him on the interchange bench last year, the 30-year-old Burgess has found his calling.

He registered a career-high number of tackle busts last season and enters the 2023 campaign hungry to pick up where he left off.

"Once the sting of the game gets taken out, for me as a bigger guy it helps and I can play more minutes off the bench," Burgess told AAP.

"Wayne (Bennett) did it a bit with me but 'JD' stuck with it last year, it's a tactical thing for me as a bigger guy.

"I'm always working on my movements - I reckon I'm 10 to 15 kilos heavier than anyone else here.

"But I also work on my strengths and that is carrying strong and continuing that momentum for us as a team."

Burgess credits his dedication to yoga, ice baths and the fact he has all but given up alcohol as reasons for his impressive form.

The prop, who is 209 games into his Souths career, believes he can chase down Adam Reynolds' 231-appearance figure but says the record of 336 held by John Sutton might be a bridge too far.

"I want to keep going for Souths, it's the last year of my contract and I'd like to stay.

"I won't get 'Sutto's' record, but I'm coming for' Reyno's'.

"I don't really drink too much anymore, when you have kids you don't want to be hungover with kids.

"I'm getting paid to play and I've had a few good times throughout my career drinking and stuff but it's not a priority for me."

While he's hitting the peak of his career, Burgess concedes there is one downside.

"I've got this slice of devon on my head, which isn't looking good on the overhead cameras," he said.

"I'm not as vain as some of my mates, I think I'm close to going for a number one all over - a true front-rower's haircut."