Sam Burgess to use Warrington Wolves as a “stepping stone” says Stevo

Warrington Wolves shocked the world when they announced Sam Burgess would be replacing former Leeds Rhinos and Castleford Tigers boss Daryl Powell as head coach for the 2024 season.

Burgess hasn’t been a head coach before so it has been viewed as a bit of a risk by plenty of on lookers and Warrington fans.

That being said, Burgess has tremendous playing pedigree and is arguably the best player produced by the UK in the 21st Century as seen by the resounding success he achieved at South Sydney Rabbitohs winning the 2014 Grand Final.

That say he won the Man of the Match despite having a broken cheekbone demonstrating his leadership skills.

So a divisive appointment, now former Sky commentator Mike ‘Stevo’ Stephenson has had his say:

“Well he’s got the background, doesn’t he? When you think about it, he’s a tremendous player, good enough to actually be selected for England Rugby Union and that’s how adaptable that player has been.

“I suppose in many ways, a lot of people in the UK will be shocked because he hasn’t got a great pedigree in regards to coaching. Now a couple of years ago he coached the Orara Valley Axemen and hey did make the final.

“A lot of people are taking into consideration that he’s been an assistant coach under one man called Wayne Bennett. Now Wayne Bennett made it quite clear when he was going to the Dolphins that he wanted Sam Burgess to become as an assistant coach with him.

“I’ll give Sam his due, he was loyal to South Sydney where he is in a position and still is an assistant coach.

“It’s not the first time we’ve had assistant coaches coming from down under. We have had so many, Eddie, that it’s feasible that Warrington said, well, look, let’s look through the list of former assistant coaches that have made wonderful success in the UK.”

That said, he has branded Warrington as a stepping stone:

“Well, you’ve got to say it is a stepping stone Eddie. You can’t just say, well, he’s going to become a famous coach down under and he will be coming back to Australia.

“What if he doesn’t become a success at Warrington? I can assure you that the Australian clubs won’t be knocking the door down to sign him up.

“They’ve got to look at the risk and it’s easy to say he’s going to be a success. Matty Johns says he’s going to be a success. There’s only one way we can find out and that we’ll have to wait and see next season.”