Sam Burgess has not asked to leave Bath - owner Bruce Craig

Sam Burgess
Sam Burgess was controversially picked for England during the World Cup after switching codes in 2014

Sam Burgess has not asked to leave Bath as he considers a return to rugby league, says the club's owner.

Burgess, 26, was part of England's poor showing at the World Cup and has been linked with a move back to former NRL club the South Sydney Rabbitohs.

Super League champions Leeds Rhinos have said they would bid for him less than a year after switching codes.

"Sam is with us for the next two years and is under contract," said Bruce Craig. "No-one has come in for Sam."

"He's with us and is in our Champions Cup squad. We're not in negotiations with anyone. Leeds haven't been in contact with me," added Craig, who answered "no" when asked if Burgess had requested to leave.

"It's resolved at the moment. Sam is contracted with us. As far as we're concerned he's with us and will continue playing for us."

Burgess to play in back row

Burgess is expected to be on the bench for Bath's game with London Irish in the Premiership on Saturday in his first appearance since returning from a post-World Cup break to Spain.

He played his best rugby for Bath at blind-side flanker last season but was selected at inside centre during the World Cup.

"We brought Sam over with a specific brief, which was that he'd play in the back row," said Craig.

"That's where he'll play for us. That's where we see him and where his best qualities are and where Sam sees himself.

"If he wasn't picked in the England squad, obviously his development would have increased.

"I'm absolutely sure he can be a star of the [2019] World Cup if he sticks around. I think he can be a great number six."

Analysis: 'Burgess silence is telling'

"Despite Bath's insistence to the contrary, Burgess's future still remains in the balance," said BBC Radio 5 live's rugby reporter Chris Jones.

"But with the player in contract for another two years, Bath will expect considerable financial compensation from South Sydney, and until that is forthcoming Burgess won't be going anywhere.

"But the fact Burgess has yet to publicly commit himself to Bath and rugby union is telling."

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