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Warrington Wolves: Further reports that Sam Burgess is on NRL shortlist

Sam Burgess, in Warrington Wolves gear, points to the sky.

South Sydney Rabbitohs have continued their dreadful start to the season and that’s led to yet more speculation that the NRL side could move to recruit Sam Burgess.

Huge questions are being asked of head coach Jason Demtriou by the media down under and also internally at Souths per reports with the club rooted at the bottom of the NRL table, with just one win from five.

It’s also the nature of the losses for Souths that have caused the pressure to rise for Demetriou with the Bunnies conceding a league-high 162 points and scoring just 72, the second-lowest in the NRL.

That’s in stark contrast to Warrington Wolves who are Super League’s highest-scorers under Sam Burgess with a whopping 214 points across seven games and five wins from seven.

Whilst the ex-Wakefield Trinity man hasn’t been relieved of his job at Souths yet, it’s deemed to be a waiting game per those down under with unbeaten Cronulla Sharks, Melbourne Storm and then reigning champions Penrith Panthers next on the slate for Souths.

Having ended an NRL round bottom of the table for the first time in 14 years, journalist Phil ‘Buzz’ Rothfield told Big Sports Breakfast that Demetriou’s “days are numbered”.

“I think the chairman, the CEO and the board have resolutely stood by their coach in some pretty tough circumstances over the last month but I think that patience has run out.

“His days are numbered. This Cronulla game, if they can get up it might delay the proceedings and a move on the coach but look I think it’s done. They will have an internal review now.”

Sam Burgess has now been named by multiple outlets down under as a likely name to replace Demetriou and try and right the ship at Souths.

Warrington could face task to keep Sam Burgess

Sam Burgess

Credit: Imago Images

Whilst there have already been murmurings earlier this season that Sam Burgess was on the NRL watchlist after Warrington’s impressive start to the season, those talks were shut down by the club.

Warrington emphatically shut down those talks with club Chief Executive Officer Karl Fitzpatrick explaining that there was “no chance”.

Fitzpatrick told the Daily Telegraph in Australia, “There’s no chance of us releasing Sam early, Sam’s a man of integrity and wouldn’t go back on his word. He’s got a two-year deal.”

Regardless of Fitzpatrick’s staunch stance, the name Sam Burgess keeps being banded about by those down under with Fox Sports naming him as “in the mix”, whilst The Daily Mail went further as they labelled him a “contender”.

There seems no reason for Sam Burgess to leave Warrington with the Wolves going well at the moment, sitting second in Super League with their only losses coming home and away to Catalans Dragons.

Warrington are set to face St Helens in the Challenge Cup and a win in that game on the road would be a huge marker that the Wire are serious challengers for silverware in 2024, but with each and every win there will certainly be more eyes from down under focusing in on Burgess.

Strong talks down under suggest that former England coach and Souths legend Wayne Bennett could return with the maestro in his final year at The Dolphins before ceding the head coaching role to assistant and former Saints’ boss Kristian Woolf.

Until a firm decision is made on the Souths coaching role, there will likely be plenty of focus on Sam Burgess who has deservedly earned the attention given the impressive start he has taken to his coaching career.

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