Souths confirm Burgess availability

South Sydney have confirmed that forward Sam Burgess will be allowed to represent England on June 12, subject to commitments by the RFL.

The Rabbitohs had previously suggested that Burgess would not be permitted to make the trip to Leigh for the mid-season against international against France, due to a clash with the NRL game against Brisbane.

However, their stance has now been softened following discussions with the RFL, Burgess and Rabbitohs CEO Shane Richardson, pending travel and insurance commitments being met by the RFL.

Richardson said: “Sam is a very important member of our squad but he is keen to represent his country in this game and we’ve decided to allow him to play.

“Sam completely understands his responsibilities with Souths, and is very committed to them. However representing his country is something in which Sam takes great pride, and we believe the English see Sam as a future captain of their national side. We felt it was important enough to him, England and the game that we allow him to play.”

Burgess, who joined Souths on a four-year deal in the close season from Bradford, has won six caps for England, scoring four tries.

He said: “I want to thank Souths for respecting my wish to play for England in this game.

“I love playing for my country. It’s always a great honour for me.”

Burgess will be joined in the England squad by fellow NRL star Gareth Ellis.

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