Lock in these three — does the little one come free? (Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)
Lock in these three — does the little one come free? (Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

Bunnies’ $2.2m deal for Burgess boys

SOUTH Sydney are working on the brother of all deals to keep the Burgess boys at the Rabbitohs beyond 2019.

Sam, George and Tom Burgess come off contract at Redfern together after next season, but the club are hopeful of tempting them to stay with contract offers worth a combined total of $2.2 million a season.

With rival clubs able to negotiate with them from November 1 this year, Rabbitohs general manager of football Shane Richardson flew to England in June to kickstart talks with their manager, Chris Caisley.

 

It's believed the possibility of two or three-year deals are being discussed for the trio, who have been in strong form for South Sydney this year storming towards another grand final appearance under rookie coach Anthony Seibold.

"We have opened up talks with their manager in England. I went across in June had a chat, we're on the boil with it," Richardson said.

"We certainly want them to be here long term. We will enter sort of formal negotiations. We are trying to stay ahead of the flow."

The Bunnies don’t want to lose Sam again. (Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)
The Bunnies don’t want to lose Sam again. (Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

The Rabbitohs lost Sam Burgess to English rugby union following their 2014 premiership win, before luring him back for the 2016 season. While they want to re-sign all three, the club will negotiate with them individually.

"We treat them separately, including the twins," Richardson said. "They're not the twins - they're George and Tom.

"Certainly we have spoken to their management and we are working our way forward on it.

"They have been here a long time, since they started in the NRL. We will be keen to retain them but we will see what happens.

"We will work our through it but it's a world of salary caps. We'd like Sam to finish his career with us - we didn't bring him back (from English rugby union) to do otherwise."

The brothers have become part of the furniture at Redfern. (Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)
The brothers have become part of the furniture at Redfern. (Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

Souths would like the deals completed before November 1 but say they won't be rushed in their negotiations.

Asked about a contract extension, Sam Burgess said: "They (Souths) have not approached or anything yet. I would never say never but I don't think I would ever be going back to rugby union.

"But if an opportunity came at some point to go to England, you never know where I might be in my career.

"For now, I am very happy where I am."

Pressed on whether he could ever play against Souths, Sam said: "That's a tough question. I think anyone who plays at the club and leaves always struggles to play against them."

Sam also expressed a desire to one day enter coaching. He will turn 30 in December but Burgess still has another three, maybe four years, of playing before retirement.

"At some point, yeah (to coaching). I think I have good knowledge of the game," Sam said. "I think I could be of value in some capacity, whether that is head coach, who knows.

"I love working with younger players, I love seeing the development in young players.

"I like trying to help players. I love seeing players grow. I love building a team and being part of a team. I think when that time of life does come around I could add something."

Burgess was reluctant to admit he could reach the level of NRL coach.

"That would be a huge statement for me saying yes," he said. "It is a hard job and there are only 16 jobs available. But I love the sport, I love the game to bits."