Sam Burgess coaching exemption explained as RFL confirm qualifications situation

Aaron Bower
Sam Burgess Warrington Wolves Alamy

Sam Burgess will be the new Warrington Wolves head coach from 2024

The Rugby Football League have confirmed Sam Burgess has been granted a dispensation to start work at Warrington Wolves without the required coaching qualifications: but only because he has been unable to undertake the course in Australia that would see him qualify.

Reports in The Sydney Morning Herald on Monday revealed that Burgess had been given an exemption by the governing body to take the Warrington job despite essentially being under-qualified.

He would need a Level 3 coaching qualification with the RFL to become a Super League head coach, something he does not currently posses.

But Love Rugby League has been told the reasoning behind that. The equivalent course in Australia has not run since the Covid-19 pandemic and still hasn’t restarted, meaning Burgess and other coaches seeking a move to England have not been able to get up to the required qualification level before joining Super League.

That means they are given an exemption, but only on the condition they immediately begin work on the coaching courses needed when they move to England.

Sam Burgess to take part in every course required upon England arrival

Burgess has, Love Rugby League has been told, agreed to take part in every course required and will do so almost immediately upon arrival later this year.

He is not the only coach to find himself in this situation either, playing down speculation the former England and Great Britain forward is subject to some form of special treatment. Love Rugby League has been told there are coaches currently working in Super League who are in exactly the same situation.

Like Burgess, they have begun taking their Level 3 qualifications when arriving in England after being unable to complete the equivalent course in the NRL while it remains off the table.

It means that while Burgess has been given some form of dispensation to start work as a Super League head coach, it is merely a situation other coaches have found themselves in before – and will do again in the future while the NRL’s coaching qualifications are unavailable.

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