Warrington Wolves boss Sam Burgess has confirmed the club missed out on his younger brother Tom Burgess because they couldn’t fit him under the salary cap.
Tom Burgess was initially expected to join Leeds Rhinos after comments made after the 2022 World Cup but in the eyes of many Sam’s move to Warrington as Head Coach made it a foregone conclusion that he would join the Wolves.
However, to the shock of everyone, Huddersfield Giants have snapped up Burgess on a three year deal from 2025.
Sam has explained that the Wolves were interested but couldn’t compete with Huddersfield due to their salary cap: “Tom told me exactly where he was at and I had the perfect amount of time to counter off and the numbers are just out of this world.
“I’m going to put my head coach hat on here, it wouldn’t be the right thing for the club to do it. I inherited a salary cap as it is, I can’t really do too much with it in the near future so I’ve got to be responsible in that respect.
“I have to be responsible for Warrington. Huddersfield came with a three year deal which is great for him. We just weren’t there financially. We were way off. That’s the nature of the beast.”
Sam Burgess looks ahead to Warrington Wolves opener
Warrington lost their last pre-season friendly against Leigh Leopards and Burgess has addressed the response: “They’ve been good. I probably was a bit more emotive after the game. I was more disappointed initially after the game than when I watched it back. There were things that I liked.
“We didn’t really attack the game with much emphasis on trying to win. We just wanted to see how we adapted our structure so I’m a bit more relaxed about it now. I’ve had a good week’s preparation, we’ll have a good day tomorrow leading into the weekend off so they’ve responded really well.
They start with a tough away fixture against Catalans Dragons next week and on this Burgess said: “Good, I’m happy with that. I think Leigh were brilliant last week in a trial, they came full of energy. Catalans are going to come with that plus a bit of physicality. It’s good, it’s great for us.
“Whatever the result, we’ll take something out of it, we’ll learn something as a group and I think that’s an important part of our year.”
He also had his say on Steve McNamara: “Yeah, well he’s a pretty accomplished coach now isn’t he as well, he’s had some success wherever he’s been. I know he’ll be prepared, he’s had a change in his spine, there’s some experienced players that have left as he alluded to, so they’ll be figuring a few things out as well.
“It’s my first real game as a head coach in the top flight and it’s against Steve, which is kind of fitting that my first top flight game was on him. It’s funny how it works out.”