Super League legend behind shock Sam Burgess sacking

No one expected Warrington Wolves to replace former Leeds Rhinos and Castleford Tigers boss Daryl Powell with Sam Burgess for 2024 but they made a bold move in appointing him.

It was bold for a number of different reasons: his lack of experience as a Head Coach, the notion that he would go back down under at the end of his term which has been widely suggested and the fact that he could not take over until this year leaving the Wolves in limbo.

Part of the reason why he can’t take over until next year is because he has been operating as assistant coach at South Sydney Rabbitohs.

Burgess is an icon of the club but now his time there has ended sourly.

Burgess has been released by the club after he wanted to hold former Wakefield Trinity star Jason Demetriou to account for what he felt was preferential treatment of Latrell Mitchell and Cody Walker.

The Rabbitohs made the following statement:

“The South Sydney Rabbitohs have agreed with Sam Burgess today that he will be released from his assistant coaching duties for the remainder of the season to allow him to concentrate on his forthcoming role with the Warrington Wolves and the impending birth of his child.”

Rabbitohs CEO Blake Solly also made a statement to Code Sports.

He said: “The South Sydney Rabbitohs thank Sam for his valuable contribution to the Club as assistant coach and join with all Rabbitohs Members and supporters in wishing him every success at Warrington.

“The question was asked of everyone: Is that the preference, to get on and work together for the rest of the season?

“John [Morris] was yes. Sam and the club agreed that Sam has got some other priorities to work on.”

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.

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.