Sam Burgess, one of the great players of his generation, has retired.
Slammin’ Sam, the iconic British forward, has been forced to bring his career to a premature end due to a left shoulder injury that forced experts to recommend his retirement.
The 30-year-old had routine surgery earlier this year, which highlighted a chronic injury.
He burst onto the scene with Bradford in 2006 at the age of 17. After just 12 months, he was selected for Great Britain and became a worldwide star after a ferocious tackle on New Zealand icon Fuifui Moimoi at the age of 19.
In 2010 he joined South Sydney Rabbitohs, where he spent the rest of his Rugby League career during two spells, spending a brief time in rugby union in between.
With the Bunnies, Burgess won the NRL Premiership in 2014, playing the full match despite breaking his cheekbone in the first tackle of the game. He won the Clive Churchill Medal that day, the only Brit to ever do so.
Internationally, Burgess played 26 ties, twice for Great Britain, and 24times for England.
In a statement, he said: “I have loved absolutely every minute; the highs, the lows; the Grand Final; coming home; my injuries; my dates with the judiciary. It really has been a fantastic ride.
“This decision was one of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make in my life, however the decision was out of my hands essentially. I am no longer able to be myself day in, day out on the training field and consequently the playing field.
“I’d like to encourage everyone to smile as they read this. Let’s all remember what we have done together as a Club over the past decade rather than what’s not to be in the coming years.”