Crowe inspires Burgess to join Souths - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Crowe inspires Burgess to join Souths

By Ed Jackson and David Beniuk 30/09/2009 06:39:06 PM Comments (0)

South Sydney owner Russell Crowe has delivered plenty of motivational speeches in his movie roles and it seems that talent has secured the NRL club one of the game's brightest talents.

Crowe played a large role in convincing 195cm Great Britain forward Sam Burgess to take a pay-cut to join Souths in a four-year deal on Wednesday, taking time out while filming his latest movie in England to speak to the 20-year-old and his mother.

Rabbitohs chief executive Shane Richardson said Crowe's influence had been a key to convincing Burgess to join the club.

"In Burgess' case he (Crowe) played a significant role," Richardson told AAP.

"Certainly he sold the message about what South Sydney's about, who we are and what we're trying to build here as a club.

"Sam and his mum were very keen on it."

Burgess will join Brisbane tyro Dave Taylor and former Queensland Origin forward Ben Ross as the new faces at Redfern Oval for next season.

Add them to Kiwi internationals Roy Asotasi and Issac Luke and Queensland Origin enforcer Michael Crocker and the Bunnies are set to have a powerful forward pack in 2010.

Richardson said getting more power up front for the club had been a key goal of their off-season recruitment.

"He (Burgess) fitted all the criteria we wanted and, in addition to Taylor and Asotasi, gives us the grunt up front that we will probably need to go and challenge for the premiership," he said.

"We've got some exciting backs and they always need that room to move.

"We felt this year that we just struggled to make yards and to get out of our own 22 which consequently made it hard for our halves. We've really worked strongly to beef-up up front."

Souths secured Burgess after agreeing to a compensation deal with his English Super League club Bradford, with whom he established a reputation as one of the best front-rowers in the world.

And Richardson said Rabbitohs fans should be excited about Burgess' arrival.

"Tell them to go on to YouTube and have a look at him hitting Fuifui Moimoi (at the last World Cup), that might give them some idea," he said.

"He's not out here for a holiday, he's here to prove he's one of the best in the world.

"I think it should be noted Sam's signed for significantly less over the next two years of his contract than he could have earned in England."

One player who knows all about Burgess is Cronulla captain Trent Barrett, who played against the youngster during his two-year spell with English club Wigan.

"He's a good player, he'll do very well out here," Barrett told AAP.

"He's probably the best front-rower in the English Super League and, whilst it's going to be a big learning curve for him to come out here and find the consistency that he'll need in the NRL, I'm pretty confident that he'll do well."

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2020 AAP

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