Burgess starts training with Rabbitohs - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Burgess starts training with Rabbitohs

By Tom Wald 14/12/2009 08:22:42 PM Comments (0)

Sam Burgess is certainly not your average 21-year-old, let alone 21-year-old rugby league player.

Instead of marking his milestone with a big party and by embarrassing himself, the hulking South Sydney recruit flew in from England on Monday morning before heading to training in the evening.

And if first days count for anything, the former Bradford Bull forward made a perfect start to his four-year deal at the Rabbitohs as the NRL club chases its first premiership in nearly four decades in 2010.

On his timid celebrations, Burgess said: "I had all my birthday celebrations before I got out here.

"So I don't think I will be celebrating too much here. I am here to play rugby ... not to be out partying."

The rugby league world knows the 191cm, 114kg forward is a serious talent.

But it was his attitude that clearly had Souths coach John Lang enthused at the Englishman's arrival press conference at Redfern Oval.

"It shows a bit of an adventurous spirit to come out here at his age and to arrive on his 21st birthday," said premiership-winning coach Lang.

"It would have been easy to come out in the new year and have Christmas at home.

"I think it shows the determination and commitment he has to be here now.

"All the top class English players have made an impact in our competition and I have no doubt that Sam will as well."

Burgess first caught the eye in England as a teenager with his confrontational style of play.

He handed his NRL rivals a taste of what to expect by scoring three tries in two matches against Australia in this year's Four Nations.

He is the latest piece in the monster pack the Rabbitohs have assembled with former Brisbane Bronco Dave Taylor the other major recruit for next season.

Burgess and Taylor remember playing against each other in a junior representative game and met for the first time at the club's dressing room on Monday.

The thought of them combining with the likes of Roy Asotasi, Michael Crocker, Eddy Pettybourne and Ben Ross should provide long-suffering Rabbitohs' fans with genuine reason for hope for the future.

Burgess described playing in the NRL as fulfilling a childhood dream.

The Rabbitohs open the next NRL season against the Sydney Roosters on March 14 at the Sydney Football Stadium.

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