Burgess to miss Broncos for Test - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Burgess to miss Broncos for Test

By David Beniuk & Ben Horne 20/05/2010 07:02:21 PM Comments (0)

Star South Sydney import Sam Burgess will miss the round 14 NRL clash with Brisbane after the Rabbitohs decided to release him to play a Test match for England.

England coach Steve McNamara on Wednesday named Australian-based stars Burgess and Gareth Ellis to take on France in Manchester on June 12.

The Wests Tigers are still to make a call on Ellis' availability, but Souths relaxed their earlier stance which would have prevented Burgess travelling home for the one-off match.

Rabbitohs CEO Shane Richardson said, after discussions with England's Rugby Football League and Burgess, the club would allow him to play "pending assurances from the English rugby league that appropriate travel and insurance commitments are met".

"Sam is a very important member of our squad but he is keen to represent his country in this game and we've decided to allow him to play," Richardson said in a statement.

"Sam completely understands his responsibilities with Souths, and is very committed to them.

"However, representing his country is something in which Sam takes great pride, and we believe the English see Sam as a future captain of their national side.

"We felt it was important enough to him, England and the game that we allow him to play."

Burgess said the Test would not distract him from his commitments to Souths, who take on the Warriors, Penrith and North Queensland before he leaves.

"I love playing for my country," he said.

"We still have three NRL games to play before heading to England and I will be fully committed each week to help us win the two competition points."

Burgess will miss the Rabbitohs clash with the Broncos at Suncorp Stadium on June 13, returning in time for the round 15 game against Manly at Brookvale Oval.

Tigers chief executive Stephen Humphreys said his club was in no hurry to make a decision on Ellis.

"I communicated to the English rugby league that we were just going to assess how things went over the next couple of weeks," Humphreys said.

"It's a big honour to be selected for your country so we'd be loathe to not release him, but at the same time our priorities are to ourselves to see how the health of the team is and how Gareth's health is after the next couple of games and then make a call."

If released, Ellis would not miss a game for the Tigers as they have a bye which coincides with the Test.

A statement on the Rugby Football League's website says both players will join the England squad immediately after fulfilling their commitments to their NRL clubs in round 13.

The Rugby League International Federation can order players to be stood down from their clubs if they are not released for Test duty, a sanction the NRL has said it would enforce.

McNamara is confident both Burgess and Ellis will wear the red and white against France in the one-off Test.

"Sam and Gareth are important parts of our plans, both for the international and this year's Four Nations and beyond," said McNamara.

"We have kept close tabs on their progress in the NRL and are delighted by their form in 2010."

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