The name Burgess is one of the most talked about names in rugby league.
The four brothers of Luke, Sam, Tom and George will be talked about forever in the history of the sport, but recently George has not had the easiest of times.
After entering himself into rehab to deal with “gambling and depression,” according to the Daily Telegraph, Burgess is unlikely to play again this season for the St George Illawarra Dragons – and perhaps beyond.
Club officials confirmed the 30-year-old had been given a leave of absence to undertake the rehab with health professionals.
Burgess has been an eager gambler for a number of years but, according to the Daily Mail it is being reported that it was during Burgess’s extended time on the sidelines in the UK that his gambling increased.
Sources close to the England international say he ‘got lost’ betting on horses and greyhounds and, in doing so, has lost ‘hundreds of thousands’ of dollars.
On his return to Australia following invasive hip surgery, Burgess was given a much smaller wage, and, with lingering hip problems, has been through an extremely difficult time.
However, the problems have coincided with a highly-publicised ‘sexual touching’ charge.
On 23 March, it was announced that Burgess had been arrested and charged with sexually touching a woman’s bottom without her consent.
He has pleaded not guilty and will face a hearing in February next year
Daily Mail Australia understands family members had been urging him to seek help for at least a year, with his current club St George Illawarra confirming Burgess’s leave.
“St George Illawarra can confirm forward George Burgess was recently granted a leave of absence,” the statement read.
“Burgess’s absence is of a personal nature and unrelated to his current criminal matter.”
A source close to the Burgess family was keen to stress that George is doing everything possible to do what is right by him and his family.
“It has been a very tough road for him and feeling that pressure is harder when you have a young family,” a source close to the Burgess’ told the Daily Mail.
“Luke is doing well and has managed his investments. Sam is working through his personal issues and will probably be the assistant at Souths next year.
“Tom has managed to remain virtually injury-free his entire career.
“So it has been tough pill for George to swallow. But he is willing to do the work now.
“He knows he has to do that.”
Everyone at Serious About Rugby League wishes George all the best in his recovery.