England Rugby League Interview: Sam Burgess
Sam Burgess sat down with England Rugby League ahead of the Four Nations in October to look back on his International debut, his most memorable game for England, who he believes are his toughest opponents in the competition and touches on his experience winning a Grand Final with Souths.
Burgess made his International debut in 2007 playing for Great Britain against New Zealand in a three match series.
“I remember the first time, it was actually a Great Britain jersey, I pulled it on back in 2007 playing the Kiwis at John Smith Stadium,” said Burgess.
“I was over the moon with it really because two of my heroes were playing; Jamie Peacock in the back row and Adrian Morley as my other front rower and I was front rower as well - I remember it quite clearly.
“We beat the Kiwis and won the series 3-nil. It was a great way to start my international career and with some great people around me made it super enjoyable.”
Burgess declares his most memorable match, although ending with a loss, was one he would never forget, describing the experience as deeper than the sport.
“My most memorable England match today, it’s a strange one because we lost the game, was a semi-final against New Zealand in the 2013 World Cup.
“First of all we played at Wembley Stadium. Growing up as a child I always wanted to play at Wembley and to do it for England is something special.
“We built all tournament [as a team] and we performed extremely well in the semi-final and got beaten in the last second, Shaun Johnson stepped two or three guys and scored.
“Looking back we should have shut the game out with 20 minutes to go but to this day it’s one of my most enjoyable games/performances in my whole career - it’s one I’ll never forget. I wanted to just enjoy it with my teammates, my brothers were playing, in front of an English crowd, it really meant a lot to me on a deeper level than the sport, it’s almost like my boyhood dream.”
During the interview, Burgess identified his toughest opponents in each Four Nation’s side. Slamming Sam will come up against fellow Rabbitohs teammate, Greg Inglis, who he describes as his strongest physical opponent in the Australian team.
“At the moment, International football is full of unbelievable players,
“In terms of physicality and strength, probably Greg Inglis. I play with him at South Sydney and I know what he is capable of so I know what he can do.
“I’ve played against him a few times before at an International level and he always causes a few troubles.”
Burgess reflected on the Souths 2014 Grand Final win and offers advice to those who have the opportunity to play in a Grand Final.
“It’s the greatest experience of your sporting career,
“Outside of international football, to make a Grand Final and go on and win it, for those that have done it, they’ll tell you: it’s an amazing experience and just enjoy the process, enjoy the ride, because it all happens so quick and I guess just soak in as many memories as you can because that’s what you remember. You remember all the good times you had during the week and the game goes at the click of your fingers, it goes pretty quick so just take it in as much as you can.”
View the full video of Sam through the England Rugby League website.