South Sydney Rabbitohs star Sam Burgess is reportedly considering a switch to rugby union in time for the 2015 world cup, which will be held on British soil for the first time since 1999 .
It is rumoured that former Great Britain and Wigan star Andy Farrell, now in a coaching role with England’s national rugby union team, approached Burgess while he was back in the UK for the RWLC2013 in November.
The 25-year-old is considered among the best forwards in Rugby League and came second in this year’s Golden Boot vote. He is under contract until 2016 but could be granted an early release if Souths receive sufficient compensation.
Given Burgess’ standing in the game, the time remaining on his contract (two years), and the £100,000 they paid Bradford Bulls to release him from the final year of his stay at Odsal, they will be expecting an offer of well over the record $1.3m (£700,000) fee New Zealand Warriors paid for Sam Tomkins last year.
Reports indicate Bath are the club most interested and an annual salary of just over £1m would be on the cards. Burgess currently earns less than £200,000 a year at the Rabbitohs.
Although it is highly unlikely the utility forward will want to leave his family, who have relocated to Australia to join him, the prospect of playing in front of sell-out crowds at Twickenham is said to intrigue him.
Only time will tell but let’s hope for Rugby League’s sake these rumours never come to fruition. In the meantime, watch the below video and see why Burgess will more than justify such a sizeable price tag.