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Former Wigan Warriors star George Burgess takes on surprise new role

Former Wigan Warriors and England star George Burgess has taken on a surprising new career following the conclusion of his playing career.

Burgess spent most of his career at South Sydney Rabbitohs but left the NRL for Wigan in 2020 where injuries plagued him resulting in an early release. He would then have a short stint at St George Illawarra Dragons before leaving at the end of 2022.

He played some semi-professional rugby in 2023 but is now starring in a film in the shape of Heath Davis’ smash new black comedy ‘Christmess’.

As his older brother Sam Burgess goes into coaching with Warrington Wolves, George is set to take on the world of cinema inspired by Rabbitohs owner Russell Crowe.

The movie earned rave reviews when it premiered at the Austin Film Festival last month and is already in several Aussie cinemas, as well as starting on Binge this week and on the Nine Network in 2024.

“It was good fun – I play a bouncer with a death stare and have a few lines as well,” Burgess told Wide World of Sports.

“I’ve been doing acting courses for a few years now and this is probably the fifth one I’ve had a part in.

“I always knew football wouldn’t last forever and it was good to go out on a high up in Cairns.

“I’m gradually learning the skills involved in acting and Russell has been great – I shadowed him recently in a movie he is releasing soon, ‘Land of Bad’, and learned so much – he is probably the best in the world so I’m a lucky man.”

Director Heath Davis describes ‘Christmess’ as the quintessential Aussie movie.

“There are so many cheesy Christmas movies out there with snow and happy families,” he said.

“This is real and raw – it’s about tough times and redemption – and has got great reviews.

“It was shot in western Sydney and league fans will even recognise Campbelltown Sports Ground in it.

“I made it for footy fans and I’m sure they will love it.

“George has a real presence on screen and I see him as an Aussie version of Vinnie Jones (a former English soccer player who became a movie star).

“He is committed to being a success and all the drive and determination he showed on the footy field, he puts into his characters.”

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