NRL chief executive has confirmed he would use his “exceptional powers” to bring Sam Burgess back to Rugby League, and try and lure him away from the 15-man code after next year’s World Cup.
Burgess arrives back in England next week to take up a deal with Bath but, after Souths boss Michael Maguire said he would fly to the UK next year to ensure Burgess returns to the NRL in 2016, Smith has confirmed he will use the power he has to get Sam back in Rugby League.
Earlier this year, the NRL confirmed changes to their salary cap – with the biggest change being Smith and the NRL using more money to compete with other codes when it comes to recruiting or retaining star talent.
And Smith says that Burgess definitely fits the criteria for these exceptional circumstances, and is keen to bring him back as soon as possible.
“I would always have him back, he’s a great man and a great player,” Smith told The Courier-Mail.
“Sam is chasing his dreams (in rugby) and that’s fair enough, I don’t have a problem with that, but I’ve said to Sam, he’s always welcome back in this game.
“I’ve got exceptional power, which I can use if I think it’s for the greater good of the game.
“If there is any player that meets that criteria I would absolutely use it and there’s no doubt for me that Sam Burgess is a phenomenon.”