Burgess 'could be NRL's best Englishman' - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Burgess 'could be NRL's best Englishman'

By Wayne Heming 15/02/2010 08:07:35 PM Comments (0)

Sam Burgess' powerhouse performance for the NRL All Stars has convinced former Australian captain Gorden Tallis he could be the best English forward ever to play in Australia.

While reluctant to add to expectation being heaped on the 21-year-old Yorkshireman's broad shoulders, Tallis believes South Sydney's import is set to make a huge impression on the NRL.

"I don't think there's been a front-rower in the game at 21 where he is at the moment who can play front-row, back row and even lock," said Tallis, who will assist in Burgess' NRL development with the Rabbitohs.

"I'll go out on a limb and say he'll probably be the best Pommie forward to come out here and if not, certainly one of the best."

It's a big call to say Burgess can be the best given English legend Malcolm Reilly, Phil Lowe and more recently intimidator Adrian Morley all made their marks in the NRL.

But prominent commentator Phil Gould has already described Burgess as perhaps the most exciting young forward he has seen.

The 195cm, 110kg Burgess earned the respect of the Australian players while playing for England in last year's Four Nations series and appears set to make a similar impression on the NRL.

Tallis' early opinion of Burgess's potential is based on what he's seen of him since he joined South Sydney a month ago and what some of the Australian players have said about him.

"I don't think there's any doubt he would walk into the Australian side and that's a huge rap," said Tallis.

"You couldn't say that about too many English players who have come out here."

The most recent English forward to play in the NRL was Adrian Morley and he would have struggled to get a front-row spot in Australia's side ahead of Shane Webcke, Steve Price and Petero Civoniceva.

Burgess's biggest test could be handling the intensity of the NRL for 26 weeks.

"The week in, week out grind could be the only question mark," said Tallis.

"I don't doubt his ability, his toughness and his work ethic is sensational."

Tallis said one of the things he liked about Burgess was that he wasn't playing in Australia for the money, rather he wanted to enjoy the culture and prove himself against the best.

With both Burgess and former Brisbane powerhouse prop Dave Taylor in their pack alongside Roy Asotasi, Souths will be an intimidating opposition this season.

Meanwhile Tallis said there was no need to be alarmed after Burgess caught the attention of NRL match review boss Greg McCullum for a leg-cutting tackle on Scott Prince after he kicked the ball in the early minutes of the All Star game.

"We just have to tell him he can't do that here in our game and he'll just stop doing it," said Tallis.

"He's quite an intelligent player who is very coachable."

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2020 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news