Sam Burgess: England centre linked with Leeds Rhinos move but Stuart Lancaster insists he's staying with Bath

Burgess has been linked with a move to Super League side Leeds Rhinos after a disappointing Rugby World Cup with England

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The Independent Online

Bookmakers’ have suspended the market on Sam Burgess making a return to rugby league after reports linked the England rugby union star with a move to Super League grand finalists Leeds Rhinos.

However, England head coach Stuart Lancaster has completely dismissed the idea and says he is convinced that Burgess will return to Premiership side Bath to continue his rugby union education.

Lancaster has faced huge criticism for the selection of 26-year-old Burgess, both in the original 31-man Rugby World Cup squad and as a starting inside centre against Wales in the pool stage – a match that England went on to lose 28-25.

Burgess was today dropped from England’s matchday squad that will take on Uruguay in their final Pool A match this Saturday. Having already been demoted from the starting XV to the replacements’ bench, the move has been seen as an admission that the Burgess gamble has not paid off.

Previous reports have claimed that Burgess will move back to rugby league having spoken with his former NRL side, South Sydney Rabbitohs, and now bookmakers SkyBet have suspended the market on Burgess joining 2015 Super League table-toppers Leeds Rhinos – who take on Wigan Warriors in this Saturday’s Grand Final.

When asked about Burgess joining the Rhinos during a press conference earlier today, Lancaster said: “That’s the today’s news is it?

“I’ve not had any conversations with him about a move to rugby league at all. Genuinely, I 100 per cent didn’t know that story was out there. My last conversation with him was about going back to Bath and he can’t wait to get stuck into the Premiership.

“He feels he’s made good strides as a player and he wants to continue to improve. Bath will be delighted to have him back and I can’t see anything changing in that regard.”

Burgess has been dropped from England's squad to face Uruguay

Not content with just offering odds on a Super League return, punters can also put money on Burgess being spotted at this weekend’s Grand Final. With England’s final pool game taking place at Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium, Burgess would be able to nip across the City and attend the match at Manchester United’s Old Trafford stadium – which kicks off at the earlier time of 6pm.