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Post by Bazzer79 Thu 05 Nov 2015, 4:07 pm

First topic message reminder :

Sam Burgess has signed for South Sydney Rabbithos. Another failed RL conversion. Serious egg on face for Bath & Lancaster & Co.

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Post by rodders Fri 06 Nov 2015, 3:35 pm

Wow what a totally bizarre state of affairs. Don't think anyone involved in this comes out of it well, accept Mike Ford maybe who seemed closest to getting some decent rugby out of Sam and seems to have been messed around a bit by England and Burgess.

Looks like Sam had enough and cleared off - he had a decent RWC, nowhere near as bad as made out and was badly scapegoated by the England management after the Welsh game - they where winning when he went off and then didn't feature again in the competition so something went on.

What is doubly strange is the whole thing has striking parallels with Andy Farrells Union conversion -

1 both got injured and missed a significant chunk of their first season.
2 both union forwards moved to inside centre after trying flanker
2 both struggled to make and impact but harshly maligned in struggling england teams
4 both quit after disappointing RWC experiences

I'm amazed that with Farrell himself on the coaching panel that they made such a mess out of this.

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Post by Golden Fri 06 Nov 2015, 4:32 pm

"Rumour has it that Sam Burgess was stopped by Bath when he tried to talk to his team mates and inform him of his decision to leave and the reason why, instead he had to do it over a group facebook message which was monitored by Bath backroom staff. "


Very odd if true.

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Post by lostinwales Fri 06 Nov 2015, 4:38 pm

rodders wrote:Wow what a totally bizarre state of affairs. Don't think anyone involved in this comes out of it well, accept Mike Ford maybe who seemed closest to getting some decent rugby out of Sam and seems to have been messed around a bit by England and Burgess.

Looks like Sam had enough and cleared off - he had a decent RWC, nowhere near as bad as made out and was badly scapegoated by the England management after the Welsh game - they where winning when he went off and then didn't feature again in the competition so something went on.

What is doubly strange is the whole thing has striking parallels with Andy Farrells Union conversion -

1 both got injured and missed a significant chunk of their first season.
2 both union forwards moved to inside centre after trying flanker
2 both struggled to make and impact but harshly maligned in struggling england teams
4 both quit after disappointing RWC experiences

I'm amazed that with Farrell himself on the coaching panel that they made such a mess out of this.


I think that is a bit of a stretch. AF's best position in RU was (bizarrely enough) probably 10. There was never clearly a good forward position fit for him like there was with Burgess, and he just looked horrible at 12. Different age switching codes makes a big difference though.

The nature of their relevant injuries was also very different. Farrell had the toe problem which stopped him doing anything. With a bust cheek at least Burgess could train as long as he avoided contact, and it didn't keep him out for long.

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Post by majesticimperialman Fri 06 Nov 2015, 6:02 pm

I thought that Sir Clive Woodward's comment's that England rugby union is a laughing stock over this whole Sam Burgess thing. They brought him into the game with out knowing what is best position was in rugby union, Bath was plying him in the pack, yet England played him as a centre. I mean WTF. How confusing? not just for him, but for the England and bath supporters

I just think that if any thing this should teach England rugby union a (BIG LESSON) just because some one is world class in rugby league, does not mean he will be world class in rugby union.....Untill he as had enough games too learn the rules, and nail down the best position for him too play in.

I do hope he makes it in rugby league and plays in the next league rugby world cup, and becomes the success he could of been in rugby union.

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Post by Exiledinborders Fri 06 Nov 2015, 8:50 pm

rodders wrote:What is doubly strange is the whole thing has striking parallels with Andy Farrells Union conversion -

1 both got injured and missed a significant chunk of their first season.
2 both union forwards moved to inside centre after trying flanker
2 both struggled to make and impact but harshly maligned in struggling england teams
4 both quit after disappointing RWC experiences
You forgot:
5 both were crap.

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Post by Exiledinborders Fri 06 Nov 2015, 8:59 pm

chewed_mintie wrote:Yep, one of the greats in time.  But not the greatest.

Off the bat: Andrew John, Wally Lewis, Mal Meninga, Brad Fittler, Darren Lockyer, Ellery Hanley, Jonathan Thurston, Brett Kenny, Gene Miles, Ruben Wiki, Steve Menzies, Allan Langer - I would rate all of these as greater players - this is without even considering past greats from earlier eras.  It's more or less a question of who is best out of JT or Andrew Johns as the greatest player of all time.
So Burgess is not as good at league as a list of some other people. Who cares? He was Poopie at rugby. However I am sure the others on your list would be too.

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Post by madmaccas Fri 06 Nov 2015, 9:07 pm


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Post by majesticimperialman Fri 06 Nov 2015, 10:02 pm

madmaccas

I just loved that. Made me laugh all the way through. laughing laughing laughing

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Post by aucklandlaurie Fri 06 Nov 2015, 10:13 pm

Exiledinborders wrote:
chewed_mintie wrote:Yep, one of the greats in time.  But not the greatest.

Off the bat: Andrew John, Wally Lewis, Mal Meninga, Brad Fittler, Darren Lockyer, Ellery Hanley, Jonathan Thurston, Brett Kenny, Gene Miles, Ruben Wiki, Steve Menzies, Allan Langer - I would rate all of these as greater players - this is without even considering past greats from earlier eras.  It's more or less a question of who is best out of JT or Andrew Johns as the greatest player of all time.
So Burgess is not as good at league as a list of some other people.  Who cares?  He was Poopie at rugby. However I am sure the others on your list would be too.



Wally Lewis was a huge loss to Australian Rugby. and wasnt Hanley a defensive coach for the England rugby team?

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Post by madmaccas Fri 06 Nov 2015, 10:32 pm

majesticimperialman wrote:madmaccas

I just loved that. Made me laugh all the way through. laughing laughing laughing

Cheers. 'Twas a very slow day at work!

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Post by offload Sat 07 Nov 2015, 9:29 am

madmaccas wrote:
majesticimperialman wrote:madmaccas

I just loved that. Made me laugh all the way through. laughing laughing laughing

Cheers. 'Twas a very slow day at work!

Brilliant, well done.
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Post by rodders Sat 07 Nov 2015, 10:31 am

lostinwales wrote:
rodders wrote:Wow what a totally bizarre state of affairs. Don't think anyone involved in this comes out of it well, accept Mike Ford maybe who seemed closest to getting some decent rugby out of Sam and seems to have been messed around a bit by England and Burgess.

Looks like Sam had enough and cleared off - he had a decent RWC, nowhere near as bad as made out and was badly scapegoated by the England management after the Welsh game - they where winning when he went off and then didn't feature again in the competition so something went on.

What is doubly strange is the whole thing has striking parallels with Andy Farrells Union conversion -

1 both got injured and missed a significant chunk of their first season.
2 both union forwards moved to inside centre after trying flanker
2 both struggled to make and impact but harshly maligned in struggling england teams
4 both quit after disappointing RWC experiences

I'm amazed that with Farrell himself on the coaching panel that they made such a mess out of this.


I think that is a bit of a stretch. AF's best position in RU was (bizarrely enough) probably 10. There was never clearly a good forward position fit for him like there was with Burgess, and he just looked horrible at 12. Different age switching codes makes a big difference though.

The nature of their relevant injuries was also very different. Farrell had the toe problem which stopped him doing anything. With a bust cheek at least Burgess could train as long as he avoided contact, and it didn't keep him out for long.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/rugbyunion/5125984/Andy-Farrells-retirement-will-mark-the-passing-of-a-rugby-legend.html


I criticised the RFU's assisted purchase of Farrell from Wigan in March 2005 because I thought that at his age then, nearly 30, it was too late for him to acquire the different skill sets required in union.
His car crash and other injuries prevented him from making his debut for Saracens until 2006 and his subsequent England career was not the success his advocates had predicted it would be.
I was also critical of the selectors for prolonging his stay in the team, which I said would not have been done had the RFU not been so heavily invested in his career.

....

He left league with the following incredible record: five championships and four Challenge Cups with Wigan, the 1998 Super League and 2002 Challenge Cup as captain; 3,000 points in all competitions at Wigan; the Golden Boot as the best player in the world in 2004, the Man of Steel Award twice, and the Players' Player Award; second in the list of England's all-time
goal-scorers and second in the list of England's all-time point scorers.
That Farrell added only eight England union caps to this glittering record does not mean that he did not have the talent to succeed in union; I believe it was only down to a matter of timing.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/rugby_union/english/5411208.stm


Saracens have strongly defended their decision to play rugby league convert Andy Farrell at blind-side flanker.
When his move from league was announced England coach Andy Robinson said he could see Farrell in the back row.

But there are suggestions he was signed as an inside centre and that Robinson now wants him in the number 12 shirt.

Saracens said in a statement that the club is "confused as to the apparent turnaround in position of England head coach Andy Robinson".

Apart from the age profile, sounds a familiar tale to me.
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Post by eirebilly Sat 07 Nov 2015, 10:44 am

A tremendous athlete and one that, given time, could have been an excellent Union player. Of that I have no doubt.

You cant blame him for getting selected but his inclusion is one of the things I highlighted about Lancaster's tenure. Lancaster is an excellent coach but I feel that he is too weak in allowing far too many external influences into his role as national coach. Seemingly too overwhelmed by other coaches, the RFU and media.

I have often said that the worst place you could possibly be good at sports is England. Your media destroy people and its understandable that he wants to go and play in a country that have a media that respect their stars.
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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Sat 07 Nov 2015, 11:33 am

One report I read said that Bath were making a tidy profit on the transfer back to RL.

He was under contract so he couldn't just walk out and go and play RL somewhere else.

Perhaps we are under estimating Bath's business acumen.
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Post by offload Sat 07 Nov 2015, 11:44 am

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:One report I read said that Bath were making a tidy profit on the transfer back to RL.

He was under contract so he couldn't just walk out and go and play RL somewhere else.

Perhaps we are under estimating Bath's business acumen.

Bath paid a lot for him and would want to get it back and then some. Why not?

They didn't initate any discussions about him leaving, but once he decided to go, Bath would want to get the maximum possible in compensation for releasing him from his contract.
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Post by Scarpia Tue 10 Nov 2015, 12:41 pm

He's now saying that "his heart wasn't in union"

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Post by milkyboy Tue 10 Nov 2015, 12:58 pm

... And he was picked on.

Probably didn't like the bath kit either.

As an aside, interesting to see Mike ford's take on the flanker v centre debate.... Think he described it as 'the same job' or words to that effect. Essentially saying he didn't think there was a problem as his role as flanker for bath was no different to the what England wanted at centre.

Make of that what you will.

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Post by nlpnlp Tue 10 Nov 2015, 1:00 pm

Sorry I really don't understand the hard time some people are giving Burgess - I assume it is either simple jealousy of someone who is a far better rugby player than they ever will/have been, or snobbery against rugby league. He came into the game and gave it a shot. His rugby league skillset did not lend itself to rugby union - and to me it is disappointing that someone as experienced as Mike Ford could not see this. It is clear to most of us that this was the case and also clear to Sam now, and he has decided to not waste 2 to 3 years when he is at his peak as a rugby player, sticking at rugby union to become at best a decent player. The best he could aim for is a Brad Thorn role - a good pro and decent international, but hardly a world class player.

It wasn't Sam's fault he got picked for England - that was Stuart Lanacaster's and if SL let himself be influenced by Andy Farrell then that is another reason to sack him. What would any of us do if we were asked to play for England - "Thanks Stu but I just don't think I am quite good enough. You are better going with Twelvetrees than me."

Bath took a chance on someone who was at best a gamble and it didn't pay off. That's life. Now please lets all move on ftlog.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 10 Nov 2015, 1:05 pm

It did lend itself very nicely to him being a 6 though nlpnlp. And I'm reading onto the rest of your post and thinking you're not being serious; fair enough.

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Post by chewed_mintie Tue 10 Nov 2015, 4:55 pm

nlpnlp wrote:The best he could aim for is a Brad Thorn role - a good pro and decent international, but hardly a world class player.

Hardly a world class player - do you watch rugby at all?

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Post by Exiledinborders Tue 10 Nov 2015, 7:28 pm

Scarpia wrote:He's now saying that "his heart wasn't in union"

Funnily enough he was saying the precise opposite of that few a few weeks ago. Before the world cup he full of how keen he was to develop as a union player etc. It all turned out to be cowpat.

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Post by nathan Tue 10 Nov 2015, 7:46 pm

Exiledinborders wrote:
Scarpia wrote:He's now saying that "his heart wasn't in union"

Funnily enough he was saying the precise opposite of that few a few weeks ago. Before the world cup he full of how keen he was to develop as a union player etc.  It all turned out to be cowpat.

Or you know, he did think that but had a change of heart after the fall out from the world cup. People do change their minds you know and to be honest, comments such as this would be a prime example of changing your mind.

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Post by englandglory4ever Tue 10 Nov 2015, 9:09 pm

There is no doubt that the main reason for Sam to pack up and leave Union is Mike Ford and Bath.

Sam had already 'made it' in Union and been selected to play Centre for England. He needed to be supported in this by his club and he wasn't. Instead he was told that he would have to play 6 and take about 2 years to learn his position and then, just maybe, he might get selected for England.

He is 26 years old and and clearly the idea of plodding around in the forwards for 2 years did not seem attractive. Who in their right mind would accept that? No player in the world would be happy with that scenario and its Ford's fault as sure as eggs is eggs.

Today Sam has come out and said England were not the problem but he didn't want to lose 2 years trying to 'make it' in the forwards. Ford has also come out with nasty statements that he didn't have the 'stomach' for it.

The truth is that for club reasons alone Bath needed a 6 and they were happy to sacrifice Sam's ambitions with England to fill their position vacancy. Indeed they have moved quickly to get Denton in as cover.

This was not about helping probably one of the the most gifted rugby players ever to realise their dreams but about a rather narrow minded club coach thinking of himself and not his player or country.

I hope Ford is found out for the massive error of judgement he has made.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 10 Nov 2015, 10:26 pm

You're still delusional then!

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Post by englandglory4ever Tue 10 Nov 2015, 10:31 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:You're still delusional then!

Didn't think it would take long for you to pop up again with your warped views of the world.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 10 Nov 2015, 10:36 pm

Not when you're popping out the comedy gold!

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Post by englandglory4ever Tue 10 Nov 2015, 10:39 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Not when you're popping out the comedy gold!

Its thanks to people like you that Union has lost Sam. Well done mate.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 10 Nov 2015, 10:44 pm

Fair play to you for coming back and playing the same tune. Many would have pretended it hadn't happened. Shame we've lost such potential but I don't either me or Mike Ford could have moved all the family over and changed the rules to 6 tackles.

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Post by englandglory4ever Tue 10 Nov 2015, 10:56 pm

You and your mate Mike haven't got the nous to manage a great player like Sam. Did you get the sack from England at the same time as 'Mike'? Might explain why you are both misrepresenting him and his abilities. Sour grapes is a bad thing to live with mate. Spit 'em out.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 10 Nov 2015, 11:01 pm

Right ok, not sure why you don't rate Burgess that highly or why you think hes a liar but its time to move on as England and Bath already have.

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Post by Notch Tue 10 Nov 2015, 11:09 pm

englandglory4ever wrote: Instead he was told that he would have to play 6 and take about 2 years to learn his position and then, just maybe, he might get selected for England.

He is 26 years old and and clearly the idea of plodding around in the forwards for 2 years did not seem attractive. Who in their right mind would accept that?

Who would accept that? Literally hundreds of young players in Academies across Europe who have already worked for years to get where they are in the Rugby Union - unlike Burgess- just so they can have a shot at a professional contract. They would kill to be on half a million a year playing for a major European club.

Seriously playing a sport for just two years and being considered for the top level, and being paid in the interim as if you were already at that level instead of being paid like any other professional union player who is a novice and just learning the sport, is an unbelievable deal.
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Post by englandglory4ever Wed 11 Nov 2015, 7:55 am

Get real notch for goodness sake. We are talking about possibly the best RL player in the world not some academy wannabe.

Burgess has said that he is getting to the prime of his rugby life so asking him to tread water and learn a new position for 2 years has got to be a very unattractive backwards step. I don't think anyone else in his position would accept that. Ford got it badly wrong.

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Post by ebop Wed 11 Nov 2015, 7:58 am

Sam is not the best rugby league player in the world.
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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 11 Nov 2015, 8:15 am

Know sod all about league but I've heard Inglis is a little good.

I just don't get how someone who seems to think Burgess is the bees knees can't see how good he was after 6 games at 6 where his best sttributes were to the fore. He would have been very much in the mix by February with a good run at the Lions. What could have been.

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Post by alive555 Wed 11 Nov 2015, 8:41 am

http://www.bbc.com/sport/rugby-union/34783108

Sam Burgess is clearly a decent bloke. As for the Fords , they sound like a pair of kniving rsoles to me.

"A lot of lads have been here since they were young, coming up through the academy, and have served this club for as long as they can and for someone to come in and not maybe do the same thing upset a few lads"

Really ? did you tell that to Sams face ?

backstabbing Muppet if u ask me.

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Post by Bathman_in_London Wed 11 Nov 2015, 9:22 am

I don't think I've ever heard George Ford say something like that before about anyone, so he must be pretty annoyed.

The whole of last season was basically spent accommodating Burgess, he was having 1 on 1 lessons with Louw about the breakdown, he was starting top level games when frankly he wouldn't have looked out of place in the championship. Carl Fearns left the club because he was told Burgess would be the 1st choice 6 and then he decides he doesn't really fancy it after all despite being given every opportunity possible.

Good luck to the bloke, I hope this story disappears now but I don't think he covered himself in glory in this.

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Post by RubyGuby Wed 11 Nov 2015, 9:44 am

englandglory4ever wrote:There is no doubt that the main reason for Sam to pack up and leave Union is Mike Ford and Bath.

Sam had already 'made it' in Union and been selected to play Centre for England. He needed to be supported in this by his club and he wasn't. Instead he was told that he would have to play 6 and take about 2 years to learn his position and then, just maybe, he might get selected for England.

He is 26 years old and and clearly the idea of plodding around in the forwards for 2 years did not seem attractive. Who in their right mind would accept that? No player in the world would be happy with that scenario and its Ford's fault as sure as eggs is eggs.

Today Sam has come out and said England were not the problem but he didn't want to lose 2 years trying to 'make it' in the forwards. Ford has also come out with nasty statements that he didn't have the 'stomach' for it.

The truth is that for club reasons alone Bath needed a 6 and they were happy to sacrifice Sam's ambitions with England to fill their position vacancy. Indeed they have moved quickly to get Denton in as cover.

This was not about helping probably one of the the most gifted rugby players ever to realise their dreams but about a rather narrow minded club coach thinking of himself and not his player or country.

I hope Ford is found out for the massive error of judgement he has made.

I have to agree with this Gory and I think Baths response has been disgraceful - Ford has hung the lad out to dry and the Bath Captain Hooper and team refused to let Burgess speak to them to explain his reasoning - How arrogant and disrespectful is that?. Its not Burgess's fault he was encouraged to come, thought he could perhaps kick on faster than expected, greatly aided by all those around him including Ford and IMO did not fail but wasn't allowed to stay on against Wales (That in itself may have been the biggest hinge here) - Good luck to Sam, Bath IMO do not come out of this looking good and their reaction now that he has gone is a little disgraceful for me - Life goes on as they say.

thumbsup

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Post by rodders Wed 11 Nov 2015, 9:53 am

What a mess but honestly did anyone learn anything that couldn't have been predicted from the outset?

Namely that even for an athlete of Burgess calaber it was going to take a considerable amount of time to learn a new sport and position - 2-3 seasons maybe.

It is hard not to blame Burgess here and feel that he was never actually committed to his Union career, he just dipped his toe in the water and the real attraction was to play for England in the RWC.

Now if he'd have signed for a 1 year contract would he have been selected based on his performances? Probably not and England took a gamble on him, which didn't backfire (he was ok and harshly criticized) but it hasn't paid off because he's cleared off at the first opportunity to return to RL.

If he'd at least stayed until the end of the season it would have looked like Burgess at least tried to repay a bit of the effort and faith his coaches and players invested in him.

I think the RFU are the main culprits but definitely have lost a bit of respect for Burgess.
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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 11 Nov 2015, 9:54 am

It's not a lot to do with the RFU to be fair.

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Post by Notch Wed 11 Nov 2015, 9:56 am

englandglory4ever wrote:We are talking about possibly the best RL player in the world not some academy wannabe.

Yeah, and how is he at Union? Because he wasn't brought over to play league. You come into a new sport, you start from scratch. You have to pay your dues and learn the ropes- and you're competing against guys who have spent their whole career doing just that. I have to agree with George Ford; there are loads of people who have worked hard their whole career and then you have this guy who is brought in and tried at the top level without earning it, and then he leaves because he is expected to take time to learn a new sport.

It's not Burgess' fault someone along the line filled his head with magic about going straight into test rugby and its not his fault he was bizarrely fast tracked into the national team ahead of much more deserving players. But jeez, he was given everything- much, much more than he had earned- and he didn't want to stay because he wasn't going to be an overnight success.

I don't blame him for doing what makes him happy and what he feels he excels at, or wanting to be close to his family, or any of it. Its just very obvious that he wasn't willing to learn the sport without shortcuts.


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Post by milkyboy Wed 11 Nov 2015, 9:58 am

I don't know that the fords are backstabbing. I think they're understandably disappointed. 

As for burgess, if he wasn't happy and wanted to go back to league... Well the reasons don't really matter. It's his choice. Life is short, if that's what makes him happy then fair enough.

It was a failed league conversion experiment, one of many. There may have been mismanagement over position, rushed into England duty etc, but it's done now. It's a shame but everyone moves on.

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Post by englandglory4ever Wed 11 Nov 2015, 10:01 am

ebop wrote:Sam is not the best rugby league player in the world.

I didn't say he was. But he's right up there. Unless of course you are 7.5 who would dream up any old name just to put Burgess down. Sam must be thinking he is well rid of people like him.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 11 Nov 2015, 10:02 am

Erm, hate to point this out but I think I was the 1st on here calling for him in the England squad as a 6.

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Post by englandglory4ever Wed 11 Nov 2015, 10:08 am

The Ford's are back stabbers. Burgess has been extremely measured in what he has said. Ford has shown himself to be someone who can't be trusted to deal with people fairly. The Ford lot are not doing union any favours.

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Post by milkyboy Wed 11 Nov 2015, 10:18 am

...Well it's normally the case, that the groom running back to his ex is respectful and the jilted bride a bit bitchy. What do you expect under the circumstances?

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Wed 11 Nov 2015, 11:11 am

Obviously lacked the bottle to try and improve, we don't need players like that, bye Sam.

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Post by lostinwales Wed 11 Nov 2015, 11:19 am

Sgt_Pooly wrote:Obviously lacked the bottle to try and improve, we don't need players like that, bye Sam.

I don't think it is just bottle. If you are in an environment that you are not happy in for whatever reason (including the happiness of family members) it can be very corrosive, especially if stuff isn't going your way. It isn't always anyone's fault as such either.

I would say that it seems that he wasn't prepared for how long it would take to get up to speed, although on the whole his attitude to training seems to have been superb.

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Post by englandglory4ever Wed 11 Nov 2015, 11:23 am

milkyboy wrote:...Well it's normally the case, that the groom running back to his ex is respectful and the jilted bride a bit bitchy. What do you expect under the circumstances?

Understood milky but even if the bitch is upset she shouldn't go mouthing off in the media. Doesn't do anyone any good.

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Post by RubyGuby Wed 11 Nov 2015, 11:40 am

The reaction of all at Bath RFC would suggest to me that Burgess has made the right move.

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Post by BamBam Wed 11 Nov 2015, 11:45 am

RE being allowed to go and explain to the rest of his teammates, apparently Stuart Hooper told him they wanted to focus on their next game on Friday, but he was more than welcome to come back on Monday on their more relaxed day, but he was obviously already heading back by then

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