Souths' extra Burgess
THERE is yet another Burgess boy at South Sydney. And he's also a forward.
Souths could well have five players with the famous footballing surname playing in the NRL one day after signing up teenage star Sam Gerrey-Burgess.
But unlike Sam, Luke, George and Tom, the latest acquisition isn't part of the clan.
''It's a coincidence actually. You've got Sam Gerrey-Burgess and the Burgess brothers,'' Gerrey-Burgess said. ''A lot of people give me looks when they find out my name, but there's no relation.''
Not that it's stopped namesake and Great Britain international Sam from playing on the name.
''We have a bit of a joke when I see him,'' Gerrey-Burgess said. ''He's seen my name a few times on papers in the gym and he scribbles it out. He jokes and says, 'I am the real Sam Burgess'. It's all good fun.''
The latest Burgess, 18, made his mark playing rugby at St Ignatius College, Riverview, where the Maroubra product caught the attention of talent spotters from the rival code.
''Luckily for me a few Souths scouts were at the game against King's and asked me and my mate to come up and trial with them,'' he said. ''I've stayed with them since and chosen league over union. In union I was playing centre but in league I've made the switch into the middle, anywhere in the forward pack. I've got much more respect for the [forwards] than I did before.''
He earned a Souths contract and will push for a spot in their National Youth Competition side.
Gerrey-Burgess, 106kg and 188cm, is likely to defer a commerce degree at Sydney University. The son of an Aboriginal father and Fijian mother has a traineeship in the National Australia Bank's financial marketing department.