Sam Burgess sensationally loses out on coaching post as ex-St Helens forward James Graham gets nod

Both Sam Burgess and James Graham know exactly what it takes to be a perfect sportsman.

From the effort on the field to galvanising teammates off it, the duo have been the best English forwards of their generation, but that has also meant that both have been vying for major roles following retirement.

And, unfortunately for Burgess, it appears as though Graham has won the race to be part of Shaun Wane’s England set-up heading into this year’s World Cup.

A few days ago, Burgess was spotted taking charge of a training session with the South Sydney Rabbitohs’ youngsters.

However, just a day later, he was snapped alongside veteran coach Wayne Bennett, sparking rumours of a sensational potential link-up between the duo for 2023.

Bennett is, of course, head coach of the Dolphins who will be enjoying their inaugural season in the NRL in 2023 as the former Souths and Brisbane Broncos boss attempts to put together a killer set-up in Redcliffe.

Bennett made the four-hour trip south from Brisbane to see Orara Valley Axemen play Macksville – whom former NRL hero Greg Inglis plays and coaches for – in a Group 2 match on Sunday.

But, Souths owner Russell Crowe isn’t happy, as he wants Burgess back at Redfern Oval to take a role as a junior coach with Crowe and Bennett seemingly going head to head over the potential move.

Burgess has often spoken of his aim to coach in the NRL in the future, saying last month: “I’m really enjoying coaching, I feel like I’m making a difference.

“The guys here have been great as well so the end goal would be to get to the NRL but I understand that there’s a bit of time between now and then and I’m just enjoying the process now here in the Valley.”

Bennett and Burgess get on well from when the duo were at the Rabbitohs before the latter was forced to retire due to a chronic shoulder injury.

The former Bradford Bulls star then joined Bennett’s coaching staff in 2020 before he stepped away from the role when Burgess was thrust into the limelight regarding his private life.

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