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 tone was set early on in Dublin as a more clinical Ireland made England pay. All is not lost, however, argues Phil Vickery
Monday Maul takes in retirement talk, England reshuffles, France's unfair advantage and Scotland's communication breakdown
John Griffiths takes an analytical look at Week 3 of ESPN Scrum's Fantasy Rugby game - who should you have picked?
Ireland coach Joe Schmidt won the tactical battle and set his team on course for a shot at the Grand Slam. Tom Hamilton reports from Dublin