I can't believe Sam Burgess has decided to pack up and move back to the comforts of rugby league and Souths.

His dalliance with rugby union was farcical and I still can't work out what he was trying to achieve. What was the point of the exercise?

When he left 12 months ago, he talked about a new challenge and trying to make the England World Cup squad.

Well, he achieved the latter but he was gifted his position in Stuart Lancaster's squad because he certainly didn't earn it. England rugby should be embarrassed over the whole saga.


He made no impact - he wasn't a forward and he wasn't a back - so he must have been a failure. But he was badly let down by Bath and England rugby, and his experience shows one of the main issues with English rugby.

In New Zealand, the game is controlled from the top down. The All Blacks coach determines what happens with a player, not the clubs, so individuals are developed for the betterment of the game generally and not rich club owners. Bath hardly did the right thing trying to turn him into a different player to the one England wanted.

It also doesn't appear they gave him much tuition, other than talking to him, and that becomes a long, long process.

What his experience has proved is that it takes time to make it as a rugby player coming from rugby league. The main thing you need to be successful is time.

Benji Marshall thought he could do it after watching a few videos - he should have played ITM Cup or gone and played a few games in Japan to learn more about rugby before trying teaming up with the Blues. The nuances and intricacies of the game are difficult to pick up if you're not used to it.

Remember, Sonny Bill Williams spent two years at Toulon under Tana Umaga to learn about rugby and even when he came back to New Zealand he needed time at ITM Cup and Super Rugby level to understand the game.

When he was picked for the All Blacks, it took yet more time for him to develop as a player.

There was talk Burgess might be picked in the England team for next weekend's third rugby league test if the Kiwis won this morning's second test to level the series but I would have been filthy if that happened. It would have been a bad look for English rugby league.


The All Blacks would hardly welcome a player back with open arms returning to their sport.

The only reason I can see why Burgess is coming back to league is money, because he certainly hasn't achieved anything in rugby.

He will reportedly be the highest paid player in the NRL next season, pocketing $1.5 million a season. Souths will have to clear out a handful of players to fit him into their salary cap and I'm not sure he's worth that much.

Yes, Burgess was man of the match in last year's grand final win but he didn't deserve to be. His brother George played better in the Rabbitohs' win and I would suggest it was only because it was the fairytale finish - first Souths title since 1971, Burgess' last game (apparently) of league and the fact he played the game with a broken cheekbone - that swayed the judges' thinking.

Many will say it's great to have Burgess back. I'm not one of them.