We'll be one big happy family... Bradford Bulls prop Burgess on move Down Under (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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We'll be one big happy family... Bradford Bulls prop Tom Burgess on move to South Sydney Rabbitohs
Two brothers playing together in the same team is special enough and three quite remarkable.
That incredible prospect could become reality next year after it was revealed that Tom Burgess will join siblings Sam, Luke and twin George at South Sydney Rabbitohs on a one-year deal for 2013.
Bulls prop Burgess, 20, said: “Since my brothers and I started getting into rugby, we always talked about what it would be like if we all played together in the same team.
“The vibe I got from Souths was very family-oriented and what better way to prove that by getting a whole family to the club?
“It’s not really sunk in yet but when it happens next year it will be the highlight of my career.”
I just can’t wait to get over there and start living my life out in SydneyTom Burgess
Burgess admitted his brothers’ move to Australia had been emotionally tough on himself and mum Julie.
“We’re close as a family and we do miss each other a lot. It’s been hard for my mum and myself being apart from Sam, Luke and George.
“I just can’t wait to get over there and start living my life out in Sydney.
“Luke and George actually live together in an apartment at the moment.
“Literally five minutes around the corner, Sam lives in a property he bought about a year and a half ago and I’m going to be living with him.
“Sydney is a great place to play rugby league and everyone talks about the lifestyle on the beaches too. I’ll be honest, I’ll be happier if I’m living with my family because they’re a big part of me and we’re all very close.
“I didn’t really think too much about the salary on offer, it’s about improving myself as a player and obviously being with my family as well.”
Burgess has enjoyed a fine campaign at Odsal and has come off the bench to make his 6ft 5in frame felt virtually every week.
The success of his siblings bodes well for Burgess in Australia.
Twin brother George has also signed a new two-year deal in Sydney after making his first-grade debut for the Rabbitohs against the Bulldogs this season, while Sam and Luke are under contract for the 2013 campaign.
Tom added: “I’m going out there to prove myself and then hopefully I can sign a longer-term deal.
“It’s very encouraging to see how George has done. He’s my twin brother and hopefully I can emulate what he has done.
“From what my brothers have said to me and what they have experienced so far, I think it will certainly bring on my own game.”
Souths coach Michael Maguire transformed Wigan during his two seasons with the Warriors, winning the Super League and Challenge Cup.
His Rabbitohs side currently lie second in the NRL and Burgess added: “It just shows what a good coach he is. At Wigan they had a good set of players but they weren’t performing.
“It was a similar situation at Souths as well. They had a good set of players but they weren’t performing to how they should be.
“They’re in second spot now and are one of the favourites to make the Grand Final.
“It just show how good a coach he is and how lucky I am to be playing under him next year.”
But he cannot yet be sure of when the next chapter of his life Down Under will actually begin.
A top-eight finish is beckoning the Bulls and victory against Hull KR tomorrow would further encourage hopes that a play-off berth is within their grasp, meaning Burgess’ services may be required beyond the end of the regular season.
“I’m not sure when I’ll be moving over there,” said the Bulls prop.
“I’m keen to get a head start at Souths during pre-season and will hopefully play a few friendlies then try and get into the team.
“But my main focus at the moment is on Bradford. Not a lot of us will be together again and we’ve spoken about doing something special.
“We want to make the play-offs.”
After the trauma of being engulfed in a financial crisis, which has led to administration, a six-point penalty and the entire coaching staff being made redundant, that would be a remarkable achievement.
Burgess, who has been a virtual ever-present this term, believes it is within their grasp.
He explained: “The way we’re going, we’re all very motivated still as a team and have talked about what a story it would be if we were to make the play-offs.
“If we keep going as we are I think we’ll get there. You never know, miracles can happen when you get into knockout football.
“The Hull KR game on Friday is probably the most important game of the season so far.”