Sam Burgess may be a legend of the game but as a head coach he’s a rookie, and he has now revealed how two legends of coaching have been helping his transition.
Burgess will lead Warrington into the 2024 Super League season in his first ever head coach role and admits the Wolves have shown ‘bravery and courage’ in giving him the job ahead of more established and experienced candidates.
But the South Sydney Rabbitohs and England great has plenty of big-name experience to lean on, and Burgess has told Love Rugby League how two legendary league coaches have been helping him learn the trade.
“I’m really lucky to have a lot of relationships built over my career and a lot of them were really helpful,” Burgess told Love Rugby League.
“Michael Maguire I had a great time with as a coach and he had great success with Wigan, then with Wayne Bennett we speak almost daily at the moment about a number of things.
“It’s about having good people around you that you trust and people outside of the sporting world who I lean on for guidance with decision-making and leadership.
“But essentially a lot of it will be my methodology and my approach as I think that’s the only way it will work.
“For me it is about being authentic. I’m my own style of coach, I will learn and listen but I will also follow my instincts with the way I want to coach.
“I have a small bit of experience which I think might also stand in my favour.
“I’m not trapped in any old ways of doing things. I have a fresh mind, a fresh approach and probably a fresh relationship with the players.”
From Sydney to Warrington: ‘I need to get used to the weather again!’
Burgess says the decision to move back to the UK away from his family and friends in Australia was difficult, and admits he has struggled to acclimatise in his first few days in England.
“I walked around Lymm Dam on Saturday morning and it was different to walking down the coast or in the eastern suburbs of Australia,” Burgess said with a smile.
“It was difficult leaving but I am super excited for the opportunity, the club and the town.
“I think the pros outweigh the cons, I just need to get used to the weather again!”