Hetherington confirms Leeds want Sam Burgess

Leeds chief executive Gary Hetherington has confirmed that his club is in interested in signing Sam Burgess, should the current rugby union player decide to return ‘home’ to rugby league.

Reports have claimed that Burgess is close to a agreeing a return to South Sydney Rabbitohs in Australia.

But should Burgess want to remain in his homeland, then Hetherington would be keen to add him to the Rhinos’ squad.

“We have made it known to Bath that should be be looking to come back to rugby league, we would be interested in looking at that possibility,” Hetherington told the Yorkshire Evening Post.

“Sam is aware of that as well. I think it would be a terrific boost for the Super League competition if any club could bring him into Super League.”

The Rhinos chief knows that Burgess remains under contract to his rugby union club, but is ready to make a deal if opportunity allows.

“We are fully aware that he is contracted to Bath, but we are waiting in the wings if Bath allow him to speak to clubs,” he told BBC Sport.

“Any Super League club or NRL would be interested in a player like Sam.”

Hetherington also confirmed that the new ‘marquee player rule’ in Super League would make any potential acquisition of Burgess’s services more straightforward.

“Yes he would [be suited to that], we supported the principle of a marquee player system,” Hetherington explained, speaking to BBC Sport.

“However, we always said it was unlikely we’d take up the option unless they were exceptional, and Burgess falls into that exceptional bracket.”

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