Bath Rugby Union club of England is reportedly paying South Sydney £270,000 to release Sam Burgess from the last two years of his current contract. It has been impossible to miss the close, paternal bond Russell has developed with Sam, and certainly Russell is sorry to see him go. Nonetheless Russell is giving Sam his public blessing, expressing confidence in Sam’s continued success even as he leaves the Rabbitohs at the end of this season. Russell told the Herald Sun:
“In rugby league, while the NRL is the top competition in the world by a fair way, the pinnacle of our game isn’t a Test jersey — it is State of Origin,’’ Crowe said. “Sam, by his place of birth, is prevented from competing at that next level. He’d love nothing more than to have the opportunity to pull on a blue jersey.’’
“I think Sam will do great in union,’’ Crowe said. “If he applies himself with his normal focus on preparation and attention to detail, he will make a compelling case for those who are running the game over there. Sam is an elite athlete — he has the ability, the temperament and the people skills to achieve, so at the very least he should give it a go.”
It is also said that Sam hopes to become a dual national, which would allow him to play in the World Cup as well as Rugby Union. Luke, George and Tom Burgess are all expected to fulfill at minimum their existing contracts with South Sydney.