Training tweaks got George Burgess firing

Scott Bailey

George Burgess believes better-managed training workloads have helped him return close to his damaging best in the NRL for South Sydney.

Burgess' form fell away in recent years to the point where he played games in reserve grade for feeder-club North Sydney last season.

However with a full pre-season under his belt after previous hip and groin woes, the giant prop's training was tapered towards the end of summer before he returned to form this season.

It's shown in the stats, with Burgess averaging more than 11 metres per run in 2018 as he and twin brother Tom have led from the front while starting together over the past month.

"It's just being mindful and monitoring how my body was feeling with the workloads," Burgess said.

"If it wasn't feeling great some days they've just looking at changing it. It's been really beneficial to me.

"They've been really good at managing our loads this year with the training we have been doing."

Previous Souths coach Michael Maguire was sometimes claimed to have hammered player workloads during his premiership-winning stint at the Rabbitohs.

But the prop insisted that wasn't the case, and instead said his same workloads were just being managed differently under new coach Anthony Seibold in 2018.

"It's more just like consecutive days," he said.

"Not running out on the field two or three days in a row. We do a big session and then might do a little bit downstairs the day after that.

"Just little things like that have made a difference and made me feel better with my body. I feel good."

Newcastle coach Nathan Brown admitted he would tell his troops to target the George and Tom Burgess in Friday night's clash at McDonald Jones Stadium, identifying it as a key component in the clash.

Not that it was a big concern for George.

"I'm used to it now as a player," he said.

"It was a bit of a shock in my first year playing, teams start targeting it more. I feel like I'm used to it more. We take the workload off each other more."