Ford: ‘Sam no longer had the stomach’

Date published: November 10 2015

Bath head coach Mike Ford has stated that Sam Burgess 'no longer had the stomach' to try and make it in rugby union after leaving the club.

Burgess won five caps for England and started in their key Rugby World Cup group game against Wales before the hosts were knocked out of the tournament on home soil.

Having featured at inside centre for England it was expected that Burgess would try to return to Test rugby as a blindside flanker while learning his trade at Bath, something which clearly excited Ford.

Instead Burgess has returned to rugby league in Australia early, after joining Bath on a three-year deal earlier this year.

"All I know is that he didn't have the stomach to see out his contract,' Ford told the Press Association.

"For me this was the time to roll his sleeves up and become the player that I thought he could be – and he chose not to.

"You don't know what he was thinking, it wasn't until the final talk I had with him that I felt there was nothing more I could do.

"But I did speak to him about that and about what a fantastic player he could be, and about the investment the club and the players had made in him, and that it was time to repay that.

"But he chose differently."

Bath have since moved to replace Burgess with the signing of Scotland number eight David Denton.