Sam Burgess is wanted for a sensational coaching role – but not yet.
Burgess himself was fined $30,000 and suspended for 12 weeks over multiple incidents during his time as a player and official at the club, including taking illicit drugs, threatening another rugby league player and driving with drugs in his system.
NSW Police’s Strike Force Irrabella said late last year it would not lay charges against Burgess over domestic violence allegations made by ex-wife Phoebe. Burgess denied any wrongdoing.
“I stand strongly against violence towards women,” Burgess said in a statement. “It has no place in society, no place in sport and no place in my life.
“I am thankful the NRL has finally cleared my name against all allegations of domestic violence. I have now been cleared of three very public and defamatory investigations. This has been a long and damaging process, taking a toll on me both physically and mentally.
“I have accepted full responsibility for the way certain parts of my life have unfolded throughout the last three years. I can now move on and continue the next phase of my life knowing the truth has been revealed. I have made impactful and positive changes to my life and I am focusing on improving and developing as a man, son, father and now coach.
“I understand, but do not agree with all of the breach notices issued by the NRL. The punishment is grossly unfair and my lawyers have advised me of my appeal rights. However, I wish to move on with my life for matters that I believe I have already been dealt with by the courts, judiciary and publicly.
“I would like to thank everyone who has supported me throughout this entire process, it has meant a lot to me and has certainly not gone unnoticed. Most importantly, I would like to thank my family for their unwavering love and support.”
However, South Sydney Rabbitohs are lining up a sensational role for Burgess following the culmination of the 2022 season.
“Sam has committed to, and is fully focused on, coaching the Orara Valley Axemen this season,” Souths chief executive Blake Solly said. “The club is entirely supportive of Sam’s decision to coach the team, and he will make a big contribution to a proud rugby league club in a really strong regional competition. It is also a great opportunity for Sam to continue his development as a coach, and from talking with him he has an even greater understanding of areas like sponsorship in a club.
“A discussion about Sam’s return to the Rabbitohs should take place after his commitments to the Axemen have finished.”