You think of rugby league greatness and one name that instantly springs to mind is Sam Burgess.
The hulking ex-forward has arguably been the poster boy for the sport in the past decade, with his incredible talent shining through at a young age with the Bradford Bulls.
After debuting for the West Yorkshire side in 2006, Burgess made almost 100 appearances before leaving for the South Sydney Rabbitohs in the NRL.
The Rabbitohs went on to win the 2014 NRL Grand Final, the club’s first in 43 years, with Burgess being awarded the Clive Churchill Medal for man of the match after playing 79 minutes with a broken cheekbone.
In late 2014, Burgess switched codes to play rugby union for Bath where he earned himself a call up to the England national team in August 2015, becoming a dual-code international, and was a member of England’s squad for their unsuccessful 2015 Rugby Union World Cup campaign.
But, before his return to rugby league with Souths in 2016, the 33-year-old was handed the opportunity to sign for a Super League side that was making waves at the time – Salford Red Devils under Palestinian billionaire Marwan Koukash.
“There was a couple of clubs in for me – I nearly went to Salford for a year,” Burgess said on The Bye Line Podcast.
“(Marwan) Koukash offered me a big deal- a million quid for nine months, but I said I can’t – I couldn’t come back to rugby league and not go back to Souths.
“To be fair, I’d earned a million quid in the last nine months, so I would have been alright.
“I wasn’t bothered though. I had to make what was wholeheartedly the best decision for my conscience – that (move to Salford) wasn’t it, it would have just been a money grab.
“I didn’t want to waste any more time in my career, so I just went back to what I loved.”
In October 2019, Burgess announced his retirement from all competitions with immediate effect, due to a career ending shoulder injury