Rohan Smith delivers warning after Sam Burgess appointment

Warrington Wolves have appointed Sam Burgess as a replacement for former Leeds Rhinos and Castleford Tigers coach Daryl Powell and now the current Leeds boss has had his say on Burgess.

Like Smith, Burgess will be diving in at the deep end in terms of Super League. Smith’s first Super League job was with big club Leeds Rhinos and Burgess’ will likewise be with a big club.

However, Burgess’ is even more of a gamble given his lack of coaching experience as a Head Coach.

None the less, Smith wished him well:

“Congratulations to Sam for taking that step forward as a head coach. But I hadn’t given it any thought about who might get that or or haven’t given it a thought since.

“But, you know, I’m sure Sam will do well. He’s a well-respected person in the game. So, you know, next year he can give it a good shot, you know, and it’d be good to come up against him and maybe get to know him a bit more.”

That said, he did have a warning for coaches diving into the hotseat:

“Yeah, I think all coaches need to decide whether they think the head coach’s job is the thing or the more pure coaching side of things is to stay as an assistant and not have to deal with a lot of the other things that happen.

“So I think the thing that all head coaches realise is that lots of things take up your time other than X’s and O’s or picking the team.”

Burgess will join the Wire for the 2024 Super League season having agreed a two-year contract.

Following his retirement from a decorated playing career in 2019, Burgess has transitioned into the coaching set-up at South Sydney Rabbitohs, currently working as an Assistant Coach for the NRL side.

Burgess is one of the most renowned and respected leaders in the global game. The former England captain famously led the Rabbitohs to the 2014 NRL title, being awarded the Clive Churchill Medal despite suffering a broken cheekbone in the opening minute.

He represented England and Great Britain on 26 occasions during his playing career and captained the national team to the World Cup Final in 2017 under the stewardship of Wayne Bennett.

Sam Burgess
As part of the review of the Rugby department, Gary Chambers will be promoted to Director of Rugby. He will have an overarching responsibility for the Rugby department from first team downwards.

Chambers will remain in interim charge for the remainder of the 2023 season before taking up the new role.

Richard Marshall will remain as Assistant Coach with a further update about a second Assistant to be announced in due course.