Souths turn to Burgess in hour of need - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Souths turn to Burgess in hour of need

22/05/2010 12:15:59 PM Comments (0)

Having been granted his wish to return home to England for next month's one-off Test against France, prize South Sydney NRL import Sam Burgess will get his chance to repay the Rabbitohs generosity against the Warriors on Sunday.

After initially blocking Burgess' bid to turn out for the national side in Leigh on June 12, Souths this week gave in to the 21-year-old's desperate pleas.

The Test will see him to miss Souths's round-14 clash against Brisbane, but a grateful Burgess said he was now focused on giving the Rabbitohs his all in the three games preceding the trip north.

And there has never a better time than now for Burgess to up the ante, with the much-vaunted Souths pack travelling to New Zealand without two of their biggest stars in injured skipper Roy Asotasi (shoulder) and Queensland Origin debutant Dave Taylor.

Burgess already leads the Rabbitohs forward pack in average runs (13.7), average metres (115), line breaks (five), offloads (13) and tackle breaks (29).

But without Asotasi and Taylor, coach John Lang will be calling for an even greater output from his budding superstar.

The Bunnies do welcome back bustling back-rower Michael Crocker, who should add some starch off the bench, with the Warriors conceding there was still more than enough firepower in the visitors' squad to get the job done.

"They're going to miss Roy Asotasi and big Dave Taylor - we're not sad to see him playing for Queensland," Warriors assistant Tony Iro said.

"But they have plenty of players in form and we are going to have to be on our game."

Souths are coming off a 50-10 pummelling of Wests Tigers last week while the Warriors also impressed in downing North Queensland 24-12 in Auckland.

The Warriors get skipper Simon Mannering back from seven weeks out with a hamstring strain, but are minus the services of giant winger Manu Vatuvei due to an ankle injury.

The biggest bonus out of last week's win was the return of playmaker Brett Seymour, who after being the amongst the side's best during pre-season, had not played since round one due to a broken thumb.

Seymour picked up where he left off against the Cowboys with three try assists and a line break assist in a superb return to action.

"The thing about Brett is that, although he hasn't played a lot of football in the last couple of years, he's already got a hundred NRL games under his belt," Iro said.

"Our confidence lifted amongst our forwards when they saw him named on the team sheet."

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