Russell Crowe backs Burgess to succeed in union
February 18, 2014
Sam Burgess will finish playing for the Rabbitohs in October © Getty Images
South Sydney Rabbitohs co-owner Russell Crowe has tipped Sam Burgess to succeed in rugby union.
Burgess' high-profile cross-code transfer to Bath was announced on Monday with the club reportedly paying the Rabbitohs a fee in the region of £270,000 for the rugby league star's signature.
The Rabbitohs had hoped to keep Burgess at the club a while longer as we was contracted until 2016, but Crowe is adamant Burgess will succeed in union.
"I expect Sam will do well in rugby union," Crowe is quoted as saying in the Sydney Morning Herald. "He has been an inspirational asset at our club and Bath will benefit from Sam's presence the same way Souths have.
"He has a long challenging journey in front of him, but he is a competitor and a dedicated professional. I respect his ambition and I appreciate all he has brought to South Sydney."
And Crowe believes had Burgess been allowed to play in the State of Origin match - a change in 2013 to the eligibility rules for the annual match prevented this - he may have spurned union to stay in league.
"In rugby league the pinnacle of the game is not a Test jersey, it is State of Origin. Sam, by his birthplace, is prevented from competing at that level. A passionate Blues supporter he would have loved to have that opportunity."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
The reopening of the openside debate, a dominant wolf-pack and a sublime performance in defeat - Monday Maul looks at the weekend's talking points
The latest Week in Pictures takes in the Rugby Championship alongside the best photographs from around the domestic game
Amy Perrett, the Australian referee who whistled the Women's Rugby World Cup final after handling only six Tests, talks to Jamie Lyall
John Griffiths digs into the distant past to try to establish the identity of an England international whose life is a virtual mystery