Luke Burgess will have had mixed emotions on Tuesday morning. Pride that his three younger brothers, Sam, Thomas and George, had been called up for England's World Cup squad, coupled with the disappointment that he had not made the cut himself.
The last thing the 26-year-old South Sydney prop would have wanted was his mum to go into bat for him. But, in the tradition of any parent who wants the best for their lad and rails at any perceived injustice, whether it is being left on the sidelines for the school dodgeball tournament or failing to get the nod for rugby league's showpiece event, Julie Burgess stepped in and spoke of her "heartbreak" at Luke's omission from Steve McNamara's England squad.
"As a mum you think you would be really excited that three of your sons have been selected. It's so disappointing that Luke's not in there. That was a heartbreak and I don't understand it," said Julie.
"He's dealing with it – which you have to do – but you have to understand it's such a huge disappointment to see all your brothers go back to England and not be part of it. It's really hard as a mum to know what to say."
Luke would no doubt be forthcoming with suggestions about what to say; and "nothing" would be pretty high up the list.
Julie Burgess is not all glass-half-empty over only three out of her four sons joining up with England and she believes that with the help of her brood – who all play their club rugby for South Sydney – McNamara's men stand a good chance of winning the tournament, which begins on 26 October with a game against the favourites, Australia. "The England squad that's been picked will definitely be in with a chance," Julie added. No doubt less of a chance than if Luke had been included.Reuse content