Very few players who starred for England in the 2013 World Cup will take to the field this afternoon for Shaun Wane’s England side as they kick off the 2022 World Cup against Samoa at St James’ Park.
However, one of those is Tom Burgess. An NRL Grand Final winner, he was often joined in the England side by brothers Sam and George but this year he is the only Burgess present in the England squad.
No longer an up and coming youngster like he was back in 2013, Burgess is an experienced forward who will look to lead England to success after coming up short in 2013 and of course narrowly missing out in 2017 losing 6-0 to Australia in the final.
For Burgess though his motivation goes behind wanting to win.
Speaking to 9News, Burgess recalled the last home World Cup back in 2013 and how he felt like it made rugby league “enormous” but now feels the sport needs a jolt to get back on track after a rough period: “I keep thinking back to 2013, the last World Cup in England and how the whole country got behind England, rugby league felt enormous. I’m excited about feeling that again this year.
“I want to inject a bit of a shot of life into rugby league in this country because it took a but of a hit with the pandemic and other and to give English rugby league fans something to cheer would mean a lot.”
Burgess has been given the number eight shirt and is set to be a key player for England today against Samoa who have plenty of size down the middle.