Burgess denies NRL return speculation

Date published: September 15 2015

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England centre Sam Burgess has dismissed reports linking him with a return to the NRL with his former side, South Sydney Rabbitohs.

Preparations for England's Rugby World Cup opener against Fiji at Twickenham on Friday were interrupted by rumours from Australia which suggest that Burgess will return to the Rabbitohs.

But the 26-year-old said the speculation is unfounded and insisted that he is fully focused focused on doing well for England at the World Cup and winning his third cap when he comes off the bench on Friday.

"I can completely deny it, there is no truth in it and I haven't had a word from Australia," explained Burgess.

"I don't know where it has come from but it's definitely not true.

"I am not too worried really. If this story was meant to unsettle me, I'm not sure it has worked.

"Let's just crack on because I haven't heard anything. It is just a beat up story, so let's put it to bed.

"Once I made the decision to come over, one of my goals was to play in this World Cup and it's here now.

"For me I have just got to get out there and do my bit for the team and this country. I will give it my heart."

Bath coach Mike Ford has said that Burgess would complete the two years left on his contract, and England boss Stuart Lancaster expects the player to remain in the 15-man code until the 2019 World Cup.

"I had a long conversation with Sam and it wasn't mentioned once," said Lancaster 

"I don't consider it an issue.

"He has come to rugby union because he wants to play international rugby union and he has ambitions further down the line to make it beyond just England. 

"He wants to play in this World Cup and the next World Cup."

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