Sam Burgess says he 'missed his family' after leaving Bath for South Sydney

Sam Burgess
Sam Burgess won the man-of-the-match award in the 2014 NRL Grand Final

Sam Burgess says family reasons were behind his decision to return to rugby league after one season in rugby union.

The cross-code international, 26, has left Bath and rejoined NRL side South Sydney Rabbitohs on a three-year deal.

"I want to thank everyone at England Rugby and Bath for some great memories over the last 12 months," Burgess said.

"I must also thank Bath especially for granting my release to return home to my family, who I have missed more than I could have imagined."

'I had a wonderful time in England'

Burgess started his career in Super League with the Bradford Bulls, before joining the Rabbitohs in 2010.

After playing 96 games for the club, where he won the NRL title in his last game, he joined Premiership side Bath and just 21 appearances and 10 months later, was called up to the England squad for the World Cup.

Sam Burgess

However, the tournament hosts went out of the competition at the group stages, and Burgess was a controversial selection, picked at centre rather than in the back row where he had been playing for Bath.

"I am extremely excited to be joining back up with South Sydney," he added. "I cannot wait to get back into the Rabbitohs culture, full of great people and passionate members and supporters.

"I had a wonderful time in England and learnt a lot about the game of rugby union as both a back and a forward, and I have definitely developed as an all-round player and athlete after that.

"I'm now very lucky to be given the chance to come back to Souths and serve this club."

Russell Crowe
Rabbitohs' owner Russell Crowe said Burgess had "carved his name deep into the history of rugby league" after the 2014 NRL final

'We are over the moon'

Rabbitohs head coach Michael Maguire said he "could not be happier to see Sam coming home to the Rabbitohs".

"He had an enormously positive impact on our club, both on and off the field, throughout the five seasons he was here, and to be bringing back one of the game's most dominant players is fantastic for not only our club, but the game itself," added Maguire.

"He wanted to test himself in rugby union and achieved many of his goals, becoming a dual international for England and representing his country at a World Cup.

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Burgess' World Cup highlights

"The next chapter is for him to return to the game he was born to play and we are over the moon that he is coming home to do that with his Rabbitohs family here at South Sydney."

Chief executive John Lee added: "It has taken a couple of months for this to come to fruition. Sam has a certain amount of gravitas. He brings an X factor to our club."

Burgess will be reunited with brothers George and Tom, who both extended their deals with the club until the end of the 2018 season, while oldest brother Luke plays for another Sydney team, Manly.

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