The Warrington Wolves have finally announced that Sam Burgess will take over as their head coach starting in 2024.
Burgess is currently part of the South Sydney Rabbitohs coaching set up, but he has no experience being the head coach of any team at any level outside of coaching the Orara Valley Axe Men up in Coffs Harbour (As mentioned by ClipBunny on Twitter).
The move by the Wolves is a gamble, but it’s hard to argue with their thinking. The truth is that you never, ever know how well someone will go when they step up to become a head coach. The list of “next great coaches” who have failed is a long one, and you tend to find the best coaches in the game are normally people you wouldn’t expect who get the right opportunity at the right time.
So when it comes to Burgess, we will have to wait and see.
One thing in his favour is the fact that in Super League, you don’t really have to be all that good of a coach to be a winner. The list of absolutely terrible coaches who have won multiple trophies in Super League is also a long list.
At Warrington Burgess will at least be able to come into a club that is not in an ideal situation and really show what he is made of. What changes will be make to the way the club trains, their attacking and defensive structures, the junior development pathways he puts in place and the way he looks to recruit players for their club.
That is what makes the step up from being part of someone else’s coaching staff, and being the head coach yourself so huge. All of that responsibility. You need to stamp your philosophy on the entire club. Some people have that in them, others do not.
Will will find out if Sam Burgess is a head coach failure quickly at the Warrington Wolves.