Bath confirm signing of Sam Burgess
February 17, 2014
Sam Burgess will be given the chance to fulfil a long time dream of playing in the Rugby World Cup © PA Photos
Bath have confirmed the signing of rugby league star Sam Burgess from Australian side South Sydney Rabbitohs, ending a fortnight of speculation over the possible move. He will be available to play for Bath once the 2014 season is over in the autumn.
Last Friday it seemed the switch had hit the buffers but the three-year contract was agreed after discussions between Burgess, 23, and the club.
Burgess said he was excited about the move. "With 2015 being a Rugby World Cup [year], it was an opportunity I had to pursue and I thank the Rabbitohs for allowing me to make this move and start the next chapter in my sporting career.
"I'm happy this has all been sorted out before the start of the season so that I can concentrate on my game and the team without any other things in the way. An opportunity presented itself to head back home to England and to pursue a chance to represent my country in two different sports."
Mike Ford, Bath's head coach and a former league player, said he had "no doubt" Burgess would "fit in seamlessly here at Bath and we're looking forward to having him join us and start making the transition".
Australian media reports said the Rabbitohs negotiated a financial settlement believed to be worth about Aus$900,000 (£485,000) as well as a clause in the contract giving them "first and last offer" on Burgess' services should he return to the NRL.
Burgess joined the Rabbitohs from Super League club Bradford in 2010, becoming one of the best players in the league.
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