Burgess handed longest NRL ban in seven years

Burgess banned

George Burgess has been banned for nine matches after being found guilty of eye-gouging former South Sydney teammate Robbie Farah.

The 27-year-old admitted a charge of dangerous contact and was issued with the longest NRL ban since James Graham was given a 12-game suspension for biting Billy Slater in 2012.

In the final year of his contract and with just nine regular season games remaining, George’s time with the Bunnies will be over if they fail to make the play-offs.

South Sydney general manager Shane Richardson said: “I just wanted to say we’re happy with the hearing we’ve got tonight.

“It’s a tragedy for George and the family. George is a loving father; brother and son. He’s been an ornament at South Sydney. It will not define his career.”

In the judiciary hearing, the England forward argued his actions were careless rather than deliberate or reckless.

“I swear on my kids’ lives I didn’t know I had my hands in his eyes,” Burgess told the panel.

Whether George will be offered a deal with another NRL club remains to be seen. If not, he is likely to return to Super League with Hull FC rumoured to be interested.