South Sydney prop Thomas Burgess has poured cold water on his brother Sam making an NRL comeback next season, declaring “Sam was medically retired for a reason”.
Burgess put a shock through rugby league last week when he confirmed he was considering making an NRL return, less than 12 months after announcing his retirement.
The former Rabbitohs enforcer hung up the boots last year due to a chronic shoulder injury to take up a consultancy role with the club this season working alongside super coach Wayne Bennett.
But as revealed in The Daily Telegraph, Burgess is considering a return to the field having trained alongside his former Souths teammates in the club’s bubble since the NRL returned in May.
The 31-year-old addressed the comeback rumours when speaking on Fox League prior to the Rabbitohs‘ clash with the Bulldogs on Thursday.
“I‘d be lying if I said it hadn’t crossed my mind. Being back in the bubble and training, the body feels pretty good,“ Burgess said.
“It‘s just a dream at the moment, but I’ve really been enjoying being back around the team, it’s been great and just seeing them improve day by day.”
Sam Burgess with his brothers Tom (8) and George after South Sydney defeated St George Illawarra during the 2018 finals. Picture: Brett CostelloSource:News Corp Australia
But Burgess’ brother Tom believes his sibling’s hopes for a comeback is just a pipedream.
Asked if it was a possibility that Sam dons the boots for Souths in 2021, he bluntly replied: “No, I don’t think so.
“He has been thinking about it, but there are two different stories thinking about it and actually playing.
“He was medically retired for a reason, so the shoulder isn’t that good.
“I mean, obviously he would love to do it, but it might be a different story actually doing it.”
Tom said Sam had benefited from being in Souths’ bubble.
“He has handled it (retirement) pretty well,” he said.
“It isn’t easy, but it has been good for him to be back around the team, and it has been good having him there.
“He is a natural born leader and he has always been like that from a young age, so it is good to have him around the place.
“Even though he isn’t playing, he is leading off the field and on the field at training as well.
“I think having him there has eased that transition (into post footy) a bit.”
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