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Burgess signing will provide ‘boost’ to All Golds scholarship programme

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#1 John Drake

John Drake
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Posted 20 February 2014 - 05:36 PM

Burgess signing will provide ‘boost’ to All Golds scholarship programme
The President of the University of Gloucestershire All Golds rugby league team says that Bath’s signing of Sam Burgess is a boost for both codes – and has local significance.
Premiership rugby union side Bath Rugby announced earlier this week that they have signed the mighty England and South Sydney Rabbitohs rugby league star Sam Burgess.
Speaking about the cross-code switch, Lionel Hurst, President of the University of Gloucestershire’s All Golds, said: "The signing of Sam Burgess by Bath and Rugby Union is remarkable and has great local resonance.
“From a rugby union viewpoint it would have been superb if he had joined Gloucester! From an All Golds and rugby league stance it is wonderful news as more and more parents, teachers and local youngsters are wishing to play at school and for our Academy teams.
“It is the All Golds desire for the two rugby codes to work in harmony, as has been further demonstrated by the signing of James Fisher from local rugby union club Cirencester RFC.
“We are developing the game in the South West and it’s great to hear more and more parents saying ‘why wouldn't I want my child to play Rugby League if it means they gain the skills and athleticism of the likes of Sonny Bill Williams or Sam Burgess.’
“The news of Burgess’ signing to a South West rugby union club will provide a significant boost in recruitment terms for the University of Gloucestershire Rugby League scholarship programme. It can only be good news for us as it further raises the profile of the sport in this area.”
Mike Stewart, Head of the University of Gloucestershire All Golds Under 19s Academy and Pro Captain, said:  “I was in the same class as Sam throughout secondary school. We played rugby league together at Heckmondwike Grammar School. Sam and I played each year as a halfback pairing; he was 7 and I was 6. We were the biggest halfbacks that Rugby League has ever seen!
“Sam was just another level, making everything look easy. He did everything, he was the orchestrator, the captain and even a fine goal kicker. In his days at Bradford Bulls he even kicked a few goals.
“He has every skill in the book required and more. He is one of those that is talented at everything, he is brilliant at Golf, and was even involved in the Yorkshire Cricket set up as a teenager. He has never played rugby union.
“He came to meet the All Golds varsity side before Christmas when England were in World Cup camp at Loughborough University,” Mike added.
Burgess will continue to play for Hollywood star Russell Crowe's Rabbitohs in the NRL with his three brothers until he joins up with Bath in October as he seeks to adapt to the 15-man game in readiness for the rugby union World Cup in 2015.
Burgess was outstanding in the recent rugby league World Cup and scored one of the great international tries for England in the semi-final at Wembley against New Zealand.
Burgess is from Dewsbury in West Yorkshire – in the rugby league heartlands – and he will join up with fellow rugby league men Mike Ford (Bath Rugby Coach) and England dual-code star Kyle Eastmond, who are both from another famous Rugby League town, Oldham, as well as England international George Ford.

John Drake
Site Admin: TotalRL.com
Email: john.drake@totalrl.com

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