Souths Must Be Careful With Burgess Issue
The media has been rife with the rumour that South Sydney’s Sam Burgess will be leaving his contract at the end of 2014 to join English Union, with many sources going as far as reporting the news as fact.
Interestingly enough, the Rabbitohs sent around an e-mail to their members this afternoon in the midst of the speculation. The key message in the e-mail was:
The Club has had no contact from Sam’s management, the Rugby Football Union or any rugby union clubs in the UK regarding a release for Sam Burgess from his NRL contract with the Rabbitohs.
It was a strange e-mail, that could be interpreted in a few ways:
1. The rumours are indeed rumours and Burgess is not as close to leaving as some think.
2. The club aren’t happy with him negotiating this deal without notifying them – hence the strong focus on the fact there has been no communication with the key parties.
3. The club are aware, but want to do there best to delay the announcement in order to not deter members and the final pre-season push in the membership drive.
If it’s number 2, it would be a very worrying position for Souths to be in. Players walking out on contracts is a very touchy subject – particularly when they are not in close communication with the club. While this would be a very surprising thing considering the seemingly strong and close relationship between Souths and Burgess over the past few years, it is important that Souths do not do anything to upset Burgess – even if they perceive that they have been done wrongly. There are 3 other Burgess’ who form a key part of the club and they all followed Sam. No matter what he decides and how he does it, the club must support him.
However I more believe that number 3 would be the case. Burgess surely would have spoken to Souths, whether it be Richardson or Crowe. If so it makes the e-mail sent out by the club seem amateurish and unnecessary. They should have just left it until something is sorted out for sure.
Anyway, all this negativity is probably blown out of proportion. If Burgess is leaving he will likely play out the 2014 and do so with as much heart and intensity as ever.