George Burgess feeling like himself again ahead of NRL return

James Gordon

England forward George Burgess is gearing up for his return to rugby league more than a year since his last appearance.

Burgess, 29, was released from his contract at Wigan last February and underwent a hip operation.

He had arrived in Super League as a marquee signing for the Warriors but made just eight appearances in his first season in 2020.

His last game of rugby league was in November 2020 for Wigan against Huddersfield.

In August, he announced his return to the NRL with St George-Illawarra Dragons on a two-and-a-half year deal to prepare for 2022.

He told “It’s been great. I started with the first group in November and before that I was doing a bit of training on my own just getting back fit.

“The body’s feeling awesome. I’m feeling really good and starting to feel like myself again.

“I’m just looking forward to getting towards games now and doing some more footy stuff.”

Hip injury recovery

Burgess played 150 games for South Sydney Rabbitohs up to the end of 2019.

He spent the whole of 2021 rehabilitating from the hip surgery.

He added: “It’s been quite an extensive rehab programme. The physios have been great. They’ve done a great job with me to get me in the position I am now.

“I’ve still got a bit of work to do with my fitness and strength around the hip but I’m feeling pretty good.

“It wasn’t without its challenges, there was a few little hiccups but not too many. We expected it to be a little bit more than it has been.

“But we’ve just been pushing through and keep getting out on the park as I can and getting as much fitness into my legs. I didn’t think I’d be able to get as many field sessions as I have.

“We’ve got a good three or four week block now until we play so get the head down and work hard.

“I feel really confident. It’s the first pre-season for a long time I’ve got a good amount of work in. I just want to play and get that week in, week out grind in something I’ve not done for a while.”

The Dragons start their NRL campaign against New Zealand Warriors on March 12.

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