Ford lays in to Burgess again

Date published: December 31 2015

Bath head coach Mike Ford has again criticised his former player Sam Burgess about the code-hopper's short spell in rugby union.

Ford, who had previously said Burgess ‘didn’t have the stomach’ to see out his contract in the 15-man code, has now given the South Sydney Rabbitohs stalwart's ego as the reason for his return to rugby league.

While reviewing England’s World Cup campaign in an interview with the Daily Telegraph, Ford said Burgess expected to be a rugby union super star and when that didn't happen, he decided to return to the NRL.

“Sam came to tell me that he wasn’t sure if he was enjoying union enough, that he missed his family, that he had a short career and that he wanted to make sure that he enjoyed it, ” said Ford.

“I told him that he was just suffering a World Cup hangover and to go away and think about it all.

“He did, and he went back to league.

“He was used to being the Pied Piper figure in league and maybe he figured it would soon be the same in union. It wasn’t.

“Sam realised that it was a major project, and perhaps that he might never get the recognition he enjoyed in league.

“So, back he went. It was very disappointing.”

Ford played Burgess predominantly as a blindside flanker, after he failed to impress as a centre, and the Bath boss reiterated his belief that former England head coach Stuart Lancaster made a mistake to pick Burgess for the World Cup.

“No, Sam wasn’t ready (for the World Cup),” added Ford.

“He shouldn’t have been picked in the World Cup squad in the first place.

“He couldn’t get in our team at centre and there he was starting against Wales.”