Super League Grand Final winner Mark Flanagan has backed Sam Burgess for success following his appointment as the new Warrington Wolves head coach.
Burgess, only 34, was confirmed as the Super League side’s new boss earlier this week from the 2024 Super League season on a two-year deal.
His appointment follows the departure of Daryl Powell, who left the Halliwell Jones Stadium outfit by mutual consent after the 42-6 defeat to Wakefield, replaced by interim coach Gary Chambers for the rest of the season.
Burgess returned to the South Sydney Rabbitohs as assistant coach ahead of the 2023 NRL season, and will find himself as the lead man in England next year after just one season under Jason Demetriou.
During his playing career, Dewsbury-born Burgess established himself as an NRL legend with 182 appearances for the Rabbitohs.
The former England and Great Britain international won the 2013 RLIF Prop of the Year, 2014 Dally M Lock of the Year and the Clive Churchill Medal following the 2014 Grand Final victory over Canterbury Bulldogs.
He hung up the boots in 2019, and was previously keen to be a part of Shaun Wane’s coaching staff for the delayed 2021 World Cup on home soil, and while it did not work out, Burgess remains eager to be a part of the international side’s backroom team in the future.
Flanagan, who made more than 200 career appearances with Wigan, St Helens and Salford, believes Burgess could ‘galvanise’ the group of players at Warrington, who have lost their last seven games in all competitions and could yet miss out on a play-off spot this year.
The Wire currently sit fifth on the table on joint-points with Hull KR with 22, with the likes of Salford, Hull, Leeds and Huddersfield below and fighting for a top six finish.
Warrington Wolves players will want to play for Sam Burgess, says Mark Flanagan
“He’s an unbelievable leader,” Flanagan said on the latest Out of Your League Podcast, available Wednesday evening from 7pm.
“I think he’ll walk into that dressing room and get respect and get the players to play for him.
“The way Warrington started the season, they were eight from nine, so they’ve obviously got something there.
“But, I think they just need somebody that they’re prepared to run through brick walls for.
“It sounds like Daryl Powell lost the dressing room in the end, I think someone like Sam could really galvanise that group of players and get them to work for him.”
— Betfred Super League (@SuperLeague) August 8, 2023