• England

League star Sam Burgess agrees to cross code switch

ESPN Staff
February 6, 2014 « Wenger planning summer spending spree | Chartbeat test »

England rugby league star Sam Burgess has agreed to a cross-code switch which could pave the way for him to play for Stuart Lancaster's national team at next year's World Cup.

Burgess is making the move with one eye on the showpiece union event and is keen to move from Sydney-based league side the Rabbitohs back to England, but any deal is reliant on financial terms being agreed, ESPN sources have confirmed.

A fee of £500,000 has been mooted as Burgess is tied to the Rabbitohs until 2016 and reports in the Australian press claim he will join Bath on a three-year deal. The Rugby Football Union (RFU) is likely to foot some of the bill as they are keen to fast-track him into union.

Reports surfaced last weekend saying Burgess was approached by England coach Andy Farrell during the Rugby League World Cup about a potential cross-code switch though the RFU has since denied any approach.

Stuart Lancaster said: "I can't comment on it, other than the fact that I haven't, or no one from the RFU, has approached the Rabbitohs. We'll have to wait and see, it's not for me to decide. He's under contract at the Rabbitohs as far as I'm aware."

If Burgess completes the switch, he has been lined up to play in the centres and he could potentially partner Kyle Eastmond at Bath, who used to play for St Helens.

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