You will probably have noticed that the grumbles are starting to grow about Sam Burgess and his decision to not turn out for England’s mid season Test Match against France.
The two other English players taking part in the NRL, Gareth Ellis and Mark Flanagan, both play for the West Tigers and both have made themselves available. Having said that, the West Tigers have a bye that weekend.
When South Sydney signed Sam Burgess, they would have talked about him going back over to play mid season Test Matches for England, and I’d dare suggest that they said “For how much we are paying you, the length of time we are investing in your career and how big a part of our clubs plans you will be, we’ll need to stay with the club mid season and not play for England until the end of year Tests”.
Is it the right thing to do?
Well in an ideal world where we all hold hands and sing “Kum ba yah”, its a bloody disgrace. It is the worth thing that anyone has ever done.
In the reality that we actually live in, its the best move for South Sydney, the best move for England and most importantly, the best thing for Sam Burgess.
Burgess is still learning how to play the game and is really struggling to settle into the NRL. He has shown flashes in a few games, but he has also had games where he has looked frustrated. That is to be expected, and its a good thing. He will learn from his failures more then he will learn from his success and I think by the end of his four year contract at South Sydney, he is going to be one hell of a player.
The last thing he needs right now is to have a break in that learning process, jump on a plane for a 26 hour journey to England, play a Test match against a French side that will get well beaten, and then jump back on a plane for 24 hours to get back to Australia in time to be thrown back into the worlds toughest competition a couple of days later.
I’d suggest that the England camp, if they are smart, just want Burgess to grind out the NRL season, soak up as much experience as he possibly can, stay in Australia and meet up with the England team when they fly over for the Four Nations, ready to go.
If we had England having to field a weakened team without 6 or 7 of their best players, it may be a problem. However at this stage, its one young player who, for his own good, should probably not take part anyway.
If you ask me, its a non issue.
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