Rugby World Cup 2015: Sam Burgess linked with move back to NRL side South Sydney Rabbitohs but Bath insist he's going nowhere

Burgess is preparing for the World Cup with England but has been linked with a move back to rugby league at the end of the season

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The Independent Online

Bath have ruled out any chance of Sam Burgess returning to the NRL to rejoin South Sydney Rabbitohs at the end of the season and the England centre is "very happy" playing rugby union.

Reports in Australia on Sunday suggested that the 26-year-old will make a swift return Down Under in a deal with his former side. Despite his lack of experience in the 15-man code, Burgess has been included in England’s 31-man squad for the Rugby World Cup – which gets underway on Friday – and he could even be included in the squad for the opener against Fiji at Twickenham.

Burgess may have made more than the 17 appearances for Bath to-date had he not suffered a fractured eye socket and damaged cheekbone in the NFL final  with the Rabbitohs last October, although that did not stop him from playing the duration of the game.

 

With two of his three brothers – twins George and Tom – still playing for the Rabbitohs and a strong friendship with club co-owner and Hollywood actor Russell Crowe, the prospect of Burgess returning is not completely out of the question.

But Bath head coach Mike Ford has insisted the player will see out his three-year contract in the West Country and expects him to prolong his stay through to the 2019 World Cup, although he has already switched to blindside flanker for his club despite England's persistence with him at centre.

Sam-Burgess1.jpg
Burgess came off the bench in the win over Ireland

Ford told The Telegraph: "Sam is very happy staying in rugby union. He is loving his England spell at the moment and he is looking forward to coming back after the World Cup and playing for us and progressing his rugby union career.

"We are very happy with Sam and Sam is very happy with Bath. We want him to stay and I think he wants to stay for the long term, through to the next World Cup, for example, and he won't be going anywhere in the meantime."

 

With two years remaining on his Bath deal, any early termination may take a personal declaration from the player himself to force a move, while the Australian side would need to express their interest along with a sizeable financial offer to pay off the remainder of his contract.

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