England and NRL legend Sam Burgess is the new frontrunner for the vacant Warrington Wolves head coach role, according to reports in Australia.
Writing for The Sydney Morning Herald, NRL journalist Michael Chammas has reported that the South Sydney Rabbitohs are preparing to lose one of their assistant coaches at the end of the year.
The 2014 premiership-winning player has reportedly opened negotiations with Warrington, who were turned down by number one target Justin Holbrook earlier this week.
Holbrook said he was ‘all but gone to England’ before signing a three-year deal with Sydney Roosters as an assistant under Trent Robinson for 2024.
The 2019 Super League winning coach was believed to be offered a ‘lucrative’ four-year deal to take charge at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.
But the 47-year-old coach, sacked earlier this year by the Gold Coast Titans, cited family reasons for one of his reasons to stay in Australia.
Sam Burgess new frontrunner for Warrington Wolves job
Former dual-code England international Burgess joined Jason Demetriou’s coaching staff as an assistant for 2023, turning down an opportunity to work under Wayne Bennet at the Dolphins for their inaugural NRL campaign.
Burgess has previously spoken of his desire of becoming a head coach in the future, speaking with The Times.
He also spoke about being open to a Super League move with Ross Heppenstall in an exclusive interview earlier this year.
Burgess, 34, made 182 appearances in the NRL for the Rabbitohs, winning major awards across his successful career including Dally M Lock of the Year, RLIF Prop of the Year and the Clive Churchill Medal following the 30-6 Grand Final victory over Canterbury Bulldogs.
He retired in 2019, winning 24 caps for England and two for Great Britain in the league code, as well as a stint in rugby union.
Burgess was thought to be joining Shaun Wane’s England coaching staff for the delayed 2021 World Cup, only for a move not to work out. He is however still keen to join the international side’s coaching staff in the future, with an end of season series against Tonga in place on home soil.
Fellow South Sydney Rabbitohs assistant John Morris, who previously worked as a head coach of Cronulla Sharks, is also believed to be of interest to Warrington.