St George Illawarra Dragons yesterday announced the release of George Burgess from the final year of his contract with the club.
Burgess signed for the Dragons ahead of the 2022 season in a surprise move after a hip injury sustained playing in Super League for Wigan Warriors appeared to have ended his career early.
However, the now 30-year-old signed a two-year deal with the NRL outfit ahead of the campaign, only to then spend most of the year playing in the New South Wales Cup.
In total, Burgess made just four appearances for the Dragons and he has spoken out on his future plans following the news.
When asked about his future, Burgess told the Daily Telegraph: “I don’t know, I am just going to take a bit of time off and see what happens.
“Obviously I still have plenty in me but it is just the whole mental side and the games that coaches play and the media. That is the stuff that is wearing a bit thin on me.
“It has been a hard year but I am ready to just take a break to be honest. I will be staying in Australia. I have three young kids to think about so I will be just looking for work and go from there.”
Going into more detail about his departure from the Dragons, Burgess revealed that, although he got on with most people at the club, a frosty relationship with head coach Anthony Griffin was the big reason behind his early exit.
“It is disappointing if it is the end of my career,” Burgess added. “But I just didn’t get along with Hook (Griffin) and he made it pretty clear to me, he pretty much wrote me off.
“So I wasn’t too keen to go back to train under him to be honest. At the end of the day all you want is a coach to believe in you. There is no point me going back there if the coach doesn’t believe in me.
“I said if you don’t want me you are going to have to release me from my contract. We sort of came to an agreement.”