Sam Burgess hits out at RU treatment and reveals huge Salford offer | The Sun
SAM BURGESS has revealed how he was messed about in and felt forced out of his fateful spell in rugby union – and how he turned down £1 million to join Salford.
The dual-code star was pretty much blamed for England’s exit from the home World Cup in 2015, even though Stuart Lancaster’s side was 10 points ahead when he was taken off against Wales.
But he has lifted the lid on how he was shifted around for matches in a code he had never played before joining Bath – and made his mind up to go back to rugby league because of the 15-a-side code’s attitude.
Burgess, who has publicly slammed then club boss Mike Ford before, said: “We were winning by 10 points, not by one or two. People had huge agendas and the politics in English rugby union was huge, from inside out.
“When I first moved over, I’d never played rugby union in my life, not even a game. They paid me a lot of money to do not a lot and in my first game, I didn’t have a clue what I was doing.
“I was like, ‘Who’s going to teach me how to play?’ they went, ‘You don’t know?’ I said, ‘No. I don’t know the rules.’
“10 games in, I’m playing on Monday for Bath’s reserves, 60 minutes at flanker. On the Saturday for the first team, I’m off the bench at centre.
“In game 12, I’m playing flanker, we’re top of the league and make the Premiership final. Then I get picked in the England training squad as a centre, I had to start again.
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“It’s funny when people say, ‘You were gifted a place in that team.’ I’m like, ‘You ask any of the other centres in that extended squad if I was.’
“I found it all kind of strange, because as a patriotic Englishman, I think if you’re English, you’re English. If you support England, you support England, that’s the way it is.
“In English rugby league we just all get behind everyone. It’s like, ‘Let’s fail together, succeed together, whatever, but we’re together.’ In union I didn’t quite feel that.
“So after that World Cup campaign, I couldn’t work for those guys any more. I was like, ‘I can’t waste my time here.’”
Burgess headed back to the sport he loved and eventually rejoined NRL side South Sydney, who he won the NRL with in 2014 – but not without an offer from then Salford owner Marwan Koukash.
The 33-year-old added to The Bye Round podcast with former England RL team-mate James Graham: “I nearly went to Salford for a year.
“Koukash offered a bit of cash, a big deal for nine months. It was £1 million for nine months but I said, ‘I couldn’t go back to rugby league and not go to Souths.’
“I had to make a decision that was going to be whole heartedly the best for my conscience. That would’ve been a money grab.”
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