England Rugby Union officials have denied approaching South Sydney Rabbitohs star Sam Burgess and convincing him to switch codes ahead of the 2015 World Cup.
The 25-year-old, considered as one of the greatest players in the game, was reportedly courted by dual-code star Andy Farrell – now in a coaching role with the England team – and was linked with Bath RUFC and a £2m annual salary.
An RFU spokesman said: “We have been made aware of the rumours about Sam Burgess’ potential interest in playing rugby union. But we understand that he is under contract with the Rabbitohs and there has been no approach from the RFU to Sam. If it is true, it’s a decision for Sam and others.”
Stuart Lancaster, England RU head coach, said: “I can’t comment on it, other than the fact that I haven’t, or no one from the RFU, has approached the Rabbitohs. We’ll have to wait and see, it’s not for me to decide. He’s under contract at the Rabbitohs as far as I’m aware.”
If the RFU and Lancaster are telling the truth, this is potentially quite a large problem for Rugby League. If there has been no official approach, Burgess could be masterminding the move himself, which would be devastating for our sport.
What do you think? Will Sam Burgess follow Joel Tomkins and Kyle Eastmond to rugby union and star in another home World Cup? Let us know by commenting below, and make sure you watch the following video showing some of Burgess’ best NRL moments.