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Sam Burgess vs Mike Ford

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Sam Burgess vs Mike Ford  Empty Sam Burgess vs Mike Ford

Post by Rugby Fan on Thu 04 Jun 2020, 3:58 pm

Well, I haven't been on these forums for a while. Japan has had a much easier run of it over the last few weeks than a lot of other places but we couldn't take that for granted. Schools re-opened this week, so some parts of life are starting again but everyone remains cautious.

I've listened to a few rugby podcasts, even when there's been nothing for them to say but this week's House of Rugby edition with Sam Burgess would have caused a stir at any time. The whole thing is here:



If you haven't read any summaries, Burgess talks about what happened at the 2015 World Cup, and points the finger at Mike Ford and George Ford.

The House of Rugby is a podcast hosted by Alex Payne, which usually features James Haskell and Mike Tindall. Tindall wasn't on this week but it's clear that Burgess is quite friendly with Haskell, and probably agreed to do it, because of their relationship. Burgess had mentioned in earlier interviews that some players in the England camp were too selfish, and some assumed he was talking about Haskell but that obviously wasn't the case.

These are the points I took away from the interview:

1. Burgess found it damn hard getting up to speed with union but put everything into it. He talks about using a sports psychologist to learn faster.
2. Bath used him initially as a centre, where he was vying for a place with players like Kyle Eastmond and Jonathan Joseph
3. Mike Ford then used him in the back row, with a brief to be a hybrid player. Burgess says he enjoyed that much more, and even mentions that he probably would have gravitated to the back row if he'd stayed in union.
4. He thanks Francois Louw for all his help and advice. He feels Louw never had any issues with Burgess, and just wanted to help him get better.
5. When Lancaster said he saw Burgess as a centre, Burgess saw that this didn't play well with Mike Ford. Burgess believes Ford had his own ambitions for a return to the England set up, especially because of his link with son George, and Burgess thinks he began to be a pawn in that longer game.

6. Burgess feels a lot of Bath players didn't turn up in the 2015 Premiership final (he started in the back row). He wonders now whether some had too much of an eye on the World Cup.
7. When he was selected in the England World Cup squad, Burgess was also included in the leadership group. He says that group was probably too large, but he was also surprised that it wasn't very honest. He feels players would air misgivings over coffees afterwards, when they should have spoken up during meetings.
8. He became frustrated with Mike Ford's comments after he was selected for the World Cup. Ford openly said Burgess was a back row, not a centre. Burgess claims he told Mike Ford to stop talking about him, and felt betrayed when Ford kept doing so anyway.
9. Before the Wales game, when George Ford had been dropped to the bench, in favour of Farrell at 10, and Burgess at 12, Burgess claims George Ford stopped talking to him.
10. Burgess feels England should never have lost to Wales in the pool games. He believes the decision to substitute him for George Ford in that match was taken solely to keep Mike and George Ford happy. In the interview, Burgess calls Mike Ford a snake.

11. When the Cup was over. Burgess felt so let down by Mike Ford, that he told him he couldn't trust him any more, and would not stay with the club. Initially, he planned to play matches for the rest of the calendar year, but Russell Crowe got wind of the situation, and got him out of the contract faster. Both Mike and George Ford took pops at hin when he left.

I don't think Haskell or Alex Payne did enough to clarify the beefs Burgess has. It may well have been out of order for Mike Ford to talk publicly about Burgess being more suited to the back row, when he was chosen as a centre, but Burgess admits himself, that was more likely to be his future role in union. When he talks about players openly questioning Lancaster's strategy away from meetings, it's unclear if that's just George Ford, or if Burgess thinks others also weren't buying in. Burgess didn't name anyone else but Bath team mates Wilson, Webber, Watson and Joseph were also in that 2015 World Cup squad.

Burgess imagine Mike Ford playing some larger political games but it's hard to know how, from what he said. If he wanted Lancaster to fail, so he could replace him, then I can't see why Mike would have wanted his son to be at the heart of that failure. Perhaps Burgess just means that Mike Ford constantly lobbied for his son to be the starting 10, and so kept expressing doubts about Burgess as inside centre, because that threatened George's position. If would have helped if Payne or Haskell had asked him to spell it out.

It's hard to know what to make of George Ford in all this. Burgess partially excuses him by noting he was still young (he was 22 at the 2015 World Cup). Quite a few of those 2015 squad players are still around, including the Vunipolas, Watson, Slade, Farrell, George, Lawes, Youngs, Nowell, May and Joseph. There's been no indication that any of them have a problem playing with George Ford today.

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Post by LondonTiger on Thu 04 Jun 2020, 4:29 pm

Watched the podcast and agree that there was not enough done to challenge or seek clarification by Payne or Haskell.

Your summary seems reasonable reflection of Burgess's views and also highlights some of the inconsistencies. Point 11 seems the crux, with Burgess seeking to blame someone else for him running back to league asap. Burgess seems to be pointing the finger at both Ford's, all other Bath players (except Louw) and the senior players in the England squad. He does not seem to want to take ownership of any of the issues himself - other players failed to show up in Final, other players moaned about decisions out of meetings, it was always someone else.

In the end this was a failed experiment in which no-one comes out of it well - least of all Sam Burgess.

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Post by lostinwales on Thu 04 Jun 2020, 5:03 pm

Nothing so fragile as the ego of some sports stars. Would of made a fantastic 6 given time, but it does go to show that physical attributes alone do not make for great player.

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Post by Soul Requiem on Thu 04 Jun 2020, 5:35 pm

In fairness he played pretty well against Wales and the problems did start when he was subbed off allowing Robert's a chance to punch a hole in the English defence. He stays on and we win, what happens from there however is anyones guess.

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Post by Brendan on Thu 04 Jun 2020, 11:29 pm

I don't get the issue with Burgess. Few if any are able to point to issues with him but blame as he wasn't a union player. It seems that there had to be a fall guy and he was it.

The squad let each other down and they all deserve the blame

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Post by Rugby Fan on Fri 05 Jun 2020, 1:42 am

We didn't really need Burgess to tell us there was unhappiness within the squad that Lancaster was geting cold feet about using Ford at 10. It was one of the main topics of discussion in English rugby at the time. The debate has never really ended, as Eddie Jones openly wondered whether he should have benched Ford for the final last year.

The dilemma is the same: playing Ford means either dropping Farrell, or moving him to twelve. In 2015, dropping Farrell meant dropping our most reliable kicker (at a time when Ford was flaky, Slade on the fringes, and Daly out of the picture), and a real competitor. These days, it means dropping the captain. Shifting Farrell to centre, then and now, means you lose the chance to field a more balanced centre pairing.

I find it hard to believe Lancaster substituted Burgess in the last 10 minutes or so to placate Mike Ford. We already know one of Lancaster's weaknesses was his tendency to stick to pre-arranged substitution plans, rather than respond to the way the game was playing. It's more likely he thought having two kickers would help close out the game (SPOILER: it didn't). There's certainly also a chance he wanted to give Ford an involvement, to stop him feeling left out after being dropped.

I've said before on this forum, that the substitution highlighted flawed thinking about Burgess. His value as a player in League, was his ability to perform under the most intense physical and mental pressure. If Lancaster valued his leadership, then the last ten minutes of a World Cup match, when there was still only a score between the teams, is exactly the time you'd want Burgess on the pitch.

Ultimately, we'll only get an good insight into the 2015 Cup if Lancaster himself explains his decisions. There's pretty good evidence that he grew indecisive, and bottled it in some fashion, but only he can confirm what he was thinking at the time.

All I learned from this recent interview is how bad the Bath environment seemed to be. We knew not everyone there was happy, because Carl Fearns told us. I was very disappointed Burgess left Bath but, if he really thought Mike Ford had undermined him, then, whether he was right or wrong about that, I can see why he believed his position was untenable.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 05 Jun 2020, 9:03 am

It doesn't really tell us too much we didnt already know bar he doesnt seem to like George Ford. It just makes me depressed looking back at some of the play before the world cup from the backs then being lumped with Burgess and barritt when it mattered. Best we've had since Hape and Tindall lined up.

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Post by Gooseberry on Fri 05 Jun 2020, 9:04 am

Brendan wrote:I don't get the issue with Burgess.  Few if any are able to point to issues with him but blame as he wasn't a union player.  It seems that there had to be a fall guy and he was it.

The squad let each other down and they all deserve the blame

The issue was that Lancaster had decided to pick him before he'd played Union, and whilst he was playing as a flanker, and at least one of his coached didn't think he was the right type of player for the system he wanted to employ.

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Post by LondonTiger on Fri 05 Jun 2020, 11:30 am

Brendan wrote:I don't get the issue with Burgess.  Few if any are able to point to issues with him but blame as he wasn't a union player.  It seems that there had to be a fall guy and he was it.

The squad let each other down and they all deserve the blame

The issue for me, is just how fast he ran away.

Him being selected is not his fault - but his reaction to adversity (and now moaning about others behaviour) does not reflect well for me.

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Post by LondonTiger on Fri 05 Jun 2020, 11:35 am

Soul Requiem wrote:In fairness he played pretty well against Wales and the problems did start when he was subbed off allowing Robert's a chance to punch a hole in the English defence. He stays on and we win, what happens from there however is anyones guess.

I still argue the issues started when Youngs (Ben) went off after having his ankle stamped on with 30 minutes to go, exacerbated by Billy V limping off with 15 to go. those two had been our best players up until that point. England then moved into survival mode (and failed).

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Post by Old Man on Fri 05 Jun 2020, 12:00 pm

Not every guy that moves from League to union is as successful as expectation will have it.

In his case he was not successful enough to stick it out.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 05 Jun 2020, 12:05 pm

Had the makings of a world class flanker. Get the feeling he wanted to be the man though and wasnt. Could have been though

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Post by Brendan on Fri 05 Jun 2020, 12:05 pm

Gooseberry wrote:
Brendan wrote:I don't get the issue with Burgess.  Few if any are able to point to issues with him but blame as he wasn't a union player.  It seems that there had to be a fall guy and he was it.

The squad let each other down and they all deserve the blame

The issue was that Lancaster had decided to pick him before he'd played Union, and whilst he was playing as a flanker, and at least one of his coached didn't think he was the right type of player for the system he wanted to employ.

Did he pick him of his own free will or did the RFU recommend that it would be good idea to pick him.

As an Irish fan I know that squads are in a bubble for tournaments like WC and what players do before or after is irrelevant to the actual tournament.  Which Centre outplayed Burgress during that WC that should have been in the team instead of him.  While he may have been a league player he seemed to hold his own at the WC and didn't seem out of place.  

It's easy to say others should have gone in his place but let's look who he was.  He was a Prem finalist (though playing another position), been to a WC before so knew what the bubble would be like.  He isn't the first person to be picked out of position in a tournament.  It could argued that if Burgress had played against Australia who are the team most like a league side that he might have been able to see things that the others couldn't.

Lancaster saw Burgess and Barritt as his No. 12 for starting games.  Replacing a physically strong tackler at 12 and a tatical kicker at 10 in a game you are leading with a less strong tackler at 12 and a running 10 was the poor choice.


Last edited by Brendan on Fri 05 Jun 2020, 12:08 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 05 Jun 2020, 12:08 pm

Burrell. Twelvetrees. For 2. It's about balance though. The second joseph got his injury tempted them into picking 2 boshers. 1 is fine but not 2. And no the rfu dont dictate selection.

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Post by Brendan on Fri 05 Jun 2020, 12:27 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Burrell. Twelvetrees.  For 2. It's about balance though. The second joseph got his injury tempted them into picking 2 boshers. 1 is fine but not 2. And no the rfu dont dictate selection.

Neither were in the squad. Would you have been happy if he had gone as a 6. Him and Joseph were teammates at Bath so maybe Lancaster felt they could work together.

Twelvetrees has not played for England since before the WC in 2015 so Jones would seem to agree with Lancaster that he wasn't good enough.
Burrell maybe but would he have started over Barritt (If not then it would have made no difference to the results). He did go on the 2016 Australia tour but again was deemed surplus by Eddie. He also only played 15 times for England (from what I can see) so wasn't much more experienced heading into the WC and was a gamble as to how He would do with the pressure. Burgess had at least played in a home WC were fans had put a big expectation on them.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 05 Jun 2020, 12:38 pm

I'd have been delighted with at 6. Said so at the time. Thing is he had looked mediocre at best in the prem at centre. Second he moved to 6 I actually saw why he was so highly rated in league. If we're talking about the wc squad slade and barritt would have been the better pairing.

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Post by Gooseberry on Fri 05 Jun 2020, 1:53 pm

Brendan wrote:
Gooseberry wrote:
Brendan wrote:I don't get the issue with Burgess.  Few if any are able to point to issues with him but blame as he wasn't a union player.  It seems that there had to be a fall guy and he was it.

The squad let each other down and they all deserve the blame

The issue was that Lancaster had decided to pick him before he'd played Union, and whilst he was playing as a flanker, and at least one of his coached didn't think he was the right type of player for the system he wanted to employ.

Did he pick him of his own free will or did the RFU recommend that it would be good idea to pick him.

As an Irish fan I know that squads are in a bubble for tournaments like WC and what players do before or after is irrelevant to the actual tournament.  Which Centre outplayed Burgress during that WC that should have been in the team instead of him.  While he may have been a league player he seemed to hold his own at the WC and didn't seem out of place.  

It's easy to say others should have gone in his place but let's look who he was.  He was a Prem finalist (though playing another position), been to a WC before so knew what the bubble would be like.  He isn't the first person to be picked out of position in a tournament.  It could argued that if Burgress had played against Australia who are the team most like a league side that he might have been able to see things that the others couldn't.

Lancaster saw Burgess and Barritt as his No. 12 for starting games.  Replacing a physically strong tackler at 12 and a tatical kicker at 10 in a game you are leading with a less strong tackler at 12 and a running 10 was the poor choice.

From what I remember it was Andy Farrell who had made the initial push to bring Burgess over, and won over Lancaster. The RFU did help move off the back of their ask.

Burgess said nice stuff about them after he quit. Its pretty evident from his latest comments that this was a very divisive issue within the England camp.

Whilst everyone involved could maybe reflect back on how they couldve done better to avoid the drama and lower tensions the ultimate responsibility has to land with Lancaster as the man at the top. His job was literally to manage all his coaches, and if Mike Ford didnt like Burgess being in or if Burgess wrongly felt that way then he should've handled that better.

It is a bit ancient history now of course but all in does feel like a wasted opportunity. He'd potentially still be playing tests in union now if he had been handled better, whether as a flanker or a center.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 05 Jun 2020, 2:07 pm

I've never read anything about an active role in the rfu helping recruit him to Bath. I would be surprised as there would have been a furore surely from the other clubs.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Fri 05 Jun 2020, 3:58 pm

Burgess says it was his own decision to go to Union. No-one sought him out. Although the last thing he did in League before leaving was win an NRL title, he had become disillusioned with the team environment, and wanted a change. He has told that story a few times now.

When he heard there was a chance to get Burgess in the code, Stuart Lancaster was keen for him to make the move, but Burgess says the England coach made no promises. However, I would guess that Lancaster asked the RFU to find a way to ensure Burgess could make the move.

The reason I say that, is Alex Corbisiero once asked Lancaster whether there was a way he could have a central England contract, because he wanted a lower number of games per season. His Saints and England commitments were destroying his body and, ultimately, ended his career early. Lancaster lobbied the RFU hard on his behalf but they didn't want to pick that fight with the Premiership.

Consequently, I don't doubt Lancaster lobbied the RFU but he would have received the same reply: there was no way the RFU could indirectly fund any Premiership player.

Ironically, given what has just happened, Mike Ford was very excited at the prospect of getting Burgess at Bath. A lot of Bath players and staff recall being herded into a meeting, where Ford showed them some clips of Burgess making big NRL hits, and told everyone he was going to be the future of the club. Dave Flatman and Tom Biggs both recalled that recently, while Carl Fearns also mentioned it. There were already a lot of noses out of joint before Burgess turned up.

It sounds very much like there were conflicting agendas, because people were talking at cross purposes. Mike Ford wasn't part of the England coaching team, he was at Bath, where he wanted Burgess in his back row, and son George at ten. Meanwhile, Andy Farrell was in the England set-up. Everyone assumes he wanted Burgess in the squad but we don't know that. We also don't know if he cared which position his own son played.

It's possible that Ford and Farrell were both trying to influence Lancaster to do different things but the three men have been silent on that so far. Mike Catt also had a front row seat, and he hasn't said anything either. Catt caught a lot of flack for comments he made in his book after the 2007 World Cup campaign, so you can see why he might see no advantage in speaking publicly.

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Post by Gooseberry on Fri 05 Jun 2020, 5:14 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:I've never read anything about an active role in the rfu helping recruit him to Bath. I would be surprised as there would have been a furore surely from the other clubs.

It was all over the press at the time. He'd met Lancaster two years previously then Farrell supposedly made the contact with him and his agent  telling him he wanted him for the world cup and theyd help find him a club. The Bath owner went ballistic all over the press claiming the RFU had told him theyd part fund the deal.
First mention in the press I can find of the possible move came not long after the 2013 RL world cup with Farrels name linked to it. Also coincides with the period that Tullagis injury problems had started.

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Post by nlpnlp on Sat 06 Jun 2020, 12:27 am

There seems to be quite a lot of snobbery around Sam Burgess - yes he was one of the best rugby league players in the world, proven in the toughest club competition there is (as a pom) - but he was "never really a rugby union player". I don't think he ever let England RFU down, but the same can't be said the other way around. New Zealand can embrace a Brad Thorn or a Sonny Bill Williams, but as soon as things went wrong for England let's blame the rugby league oink.

Mike Ford's reputation as a 'snake' seems fairly well established. He goes to a club as an assistant coach and strangely ends up as acting head coach after the person who took him on is sacked (Bath, Toulon, Leicester).

As has been said though, this all seems a long time ago. Just one of quite a number of high profile rugby league players who have been sidelined in union - Ashton, Solomona, Eastmond, Te'o, Burrell, etc.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Sat 06 Jun 2020, 7:15 am

Reading that gooseberry seems to confirm that the rfu weren't involved.

Is there snobbery towards league? And by who? I'd have loved burgess to stick around as I think he'd be a world class 6. The rest of you list granted I'm a bit meh. Loved solomons s finishing and I wanted to see him get a run of games but his defence in his only outing was not good! Ashton was great for about 25 caps but then his form for england went through the floor as other options presented themselves in watson may nowell. Centres well, Burrell started well but again had a bit of a nightmare 20 mins before being subbed by jones. Perhaps harsh but it worked. You could throw tomkins in there (spelling) who was also a pretty dire league convert.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Sat 06 Jun 2020, 12:26 pm

nlpnlp wrote:
Mike Ford's reputation as a 'snake' seems fairly well established.  He goes to a club as an assistant coach and strangely ends up as acting head coach after the person who took him on is sacked (Bath, Toulon, Leicester).

Mike has never been head coach at Leicester. He was a consultant, then attack coach and is going to be defence coach as at 1 July. I understand he wasn't considered for the head coach job and has said he doesn't want another DOR job.

The problems back in 2015 were to my mind;

1. How Burgess arrived. The RFU were desperate to get him over here, who pushed this we don't know though Burgess says in his interview he's stayed in contact with Andy Farrell most though Lancaster did rush him in (Farrell allegedly had Lancaster's ear though). The RFU initially promised to help pay him out of his NRL contract but had to pull out after some other Prem clubs asked about the fairness, I think Richard Cockerill spoke out at the time and said Tigers would happily have Burgess if the RFU was helping to foot the bill. This I think led to the initial bad blood between England and Bath management.

2. Position. Burgess was not a centre. He was far more suited to being a flanker and he himself speaks very favourably over the hybrid position that Ford created for him at Bath. It was blindingly obvious to everybody watching at the time that is where Burgess played his best rugby though the man marking job done on Roberts was also a high point. The wrangle over his position seems to have further incensed the ill feeling between Lancaster and Ford Snr. Remember that Ford Snr had had his contract with England ended (or not renewed) by Lancaster. Having pulled out of paying for the move Bath would have been unimpressed by England telling them how to develop their player especially against the club's wishes by such a large degree.

3. Out of his depth. Lancaster is a great coach and by all accounts a good guy. He isn't international head coach material. This is clearly shown in the interview with discussions over his mind numbing presentations and bloated leadership groups that accomplished nothing. Ford Snr clearly had an axe to grind and did so publicly which wasn't a good move and didn't help either his or George's cause. Lancaster was digging his own grave.

The comments about George Ford were surprising. Burgess pointed to him lacking a little maturity, it was Ford's first world cup and he was in excellent form. Despite Bath losing the Prem final my memory of that was of Ford being excellent in a losing display and actually edging Farrell in the head to head. If George and Sam weren't particularly chummy anyway then being dropped in favour of him whilst his mate's dad (Farrell) pushed his case in camp may well have left him frustrated. Slade when discussing the last world cup mentioned how Ford was supportive when being dropped to the bench for the Australia game and helped him prepare.

The comments about Mike Ford were not surprising. His reputation for being ambitious is hardly news. I did quite like the Burgess interview he came across as very much the type of bloke who'd tell some good stories over a beer.

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Post by Gooseberry on Sat 06 Jun 2020, 3:30 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Reading that gooseberry seems to confirm that the rfu weren't involved.

Lancaster and Farrell were RFU employees..... Its not really disputed anywhere that they were interested in bringing Burgess over prior to Bath making an offer.

The bit about the RFU funding the move is very cloudy, but the Bath owner must've got that idea from somewhere and Burgess certainly had the nod that he was pretty much guaranteed a spot in the England squad.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Sat 06 Jun 2020, 4:47 pm

Well agree to disagree as theres nothing i can find anywhere that backs that but you seem convinced.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Sat 06 Jun 2020, 5:49 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Well agree to disagree as theres nothing i can find anywhere that backs that but you seem convinced.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/rugbyunion/club/10638549/Bath-owner-claims-RFU-pledged-to-pay-Sam-Burgess-500k-transfer-fee-and-its-they-who-are-pushing-deal.html

It's mentioned in passing here but I remember some real outcry about the RFU offering to subsidise the mood. I can't find the Cockerill comments but I definitely remember him coming out and saying something at the time like "if the RFU are going to help pay for it we'd be very interested in having Sam Burgess".

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Post by Mr Bounce on Sat 06 Jun 2020, 10:47 pm

I would have been very interested to see where we had ended up as a team if we had qualified (presumably in 2nd place as Australia were on fire at that tournament.

A match up against South Africa with Burgess in the centre could have been mouthwatering and it was a match that England could have won if we had bought our A game.

I can only guess at potential outcomes. I think that Burgess was the victim of his own league reputation, and different coaches interpreted that potential in different ways. Farrell and Lancaster saw him as a 12 (I think Andy Farrell had also been played as a 6 before being capped at 12 so this may have influenced his decision from his first hand experience) whereas Ford wanted him at 6. It's the problem with most league converts - where to play them. The successful ones usually end up as wingers or 12s it seems.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Wed 10 Jun 2020, 4:51 pm

Read and listened to a lot of media response to Burgess. Fair to say those who didn't like his inclusion in the World Cup squad (e.g. Stephen Jones) remain unimpressed. Some sympathy with his view on the untrustworthiness of Mike Ford, with Andy Goode the standout on that front, and Nick Cain concurring in his piece for the Rugby Paper:

https://www.therugbypaper.co.uk/features/36971/cain-column-sam-burgess-gets-his-own-back-in-the-end/

Can't find anyone who agrees with Burgess that Ford was trying to sabotage England to get the job himself. That still seems like an implausible claim.

Jim Hamilton wonders whether Burgess calling Eddie Jones before the 2019 World Cup prompted Jones to have that team meeting before the tournament, where a lot of dirty laundry was aired. Jones had said before,  he felt the team still carried scars from 2015.

General belief by a lot of old pros there was a lot going wrong in that 2015 campaign, and the Burgess situation was badly handled by his club and country coaches. Still no consensus on whether Burgess could have been a union star. Those in favour point to his drive and competitiveness. Those against, say he would have needed to be in the backrow, and his shoulders might have given out before he properly learned the role.

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Post by rugby racing and beer on Fri 25 Sep 2020, 6:00 pm

James Haskell's biography has been serialised in the Telgraph and it makes for somewhat interesting reading.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/authors/james-haskell/

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 01 Oct 2020, 8:36 pm

Well some terrible allegations about Burgess now.

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Post by RiscaGame on Thu 01 Oct 2020, 8:54 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Well some terrible allegations about Burgess now.

Crazy that. Disgusting if proven true.

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Post by Gooseberry on Fri 02 Oct 2020, 9:01 am

Wales must be glad they didn't pick him as a center before england did

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Post by rugby racing and beer on Fri 02 Oct 2020, 3:14 pm

It sounds like a stitch up. He's raised his head above the parapet and this just has all the hallmarks of mud slinging. If it's true then fair enough but something about it smells off.

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Post by Sharkey06 on Fri 09 Oct 2020, 11:32 pm

Allegations at the moment is all it is. No charges raised. There have always been plenty of "allegations" against top rugby league players in Australia, which have allegedly been covered up - rugby league in Australia is similar to football players in England but plus plus and have been seen as untouchable. I hope none of this is true, not because it proves or disproves my point that Sam wasn't responsible for England not winning the world cup in 2015 - but because he seems a decent person, from a decent family.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Mon 12 Oct 2020, 10:32 am

Where are these allgations? I havent heard anything on it

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Post by king_carlos on Mon 12 Oct 2020, 2:11 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:Where are these allgations? I havent heard anything on it
An Australian paper published allegations that the Rabbitohs helped cover up drug use and domestic abuse by Burgess whilst he was a player with them.

Burgess, via his lawyers, denies the allegations. He has stepped down from his coaching position with the Rabbitohs.

There's a police investigation ongoing.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-league/54383355

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Mon 12 Oct 2020, 2:21 pm

Ahhh gotcha...cheers KC

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Post by LondonTiger on Tue 13 Oct 2020, 11:57 am

While Burgess's lawyers have denied the stories, NSW police have stated there is an investigation (based on allegations levelled by his ex-wife and her father) while I believe there is still an ongoing courtcase delaing with an alleged incident between Burgess and his ex-father-in-law.

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Post by rugby racing and beer on Tue 13 Oct 2020, 6:46 pm

We're living in a world where a 'hate crime' is saying someone male who identifies as trans is a man - and that gets conflated within a statistic that includes physical violence of the worst kind. The statistic never shows this, though, and our natural inclination is to assume the worst without being told the weighting or the breakdown of such a statistic.

Likewise, when the media reports something like this, our instinct is to assume the worst.

'Drug abuse' suggests some kind of criminal dealer fiend who is ploughing through his own stock like Scarface when in reality it could simply be an unintentional and temporary addiction to pain relief which has very little impact on his actual behaviour.

'Domestic abuse' we think of as a wife beater when in reality it can be something as 'mundane' as momentarily grabbing the arm or even getting in a shouting match. We all know that men and women respond differently to conflict and the psychological abuse women often subject men to is 'real' yet is much less 'explicit' (or proveable) than if a man snaps and (stupidly) does something physical like shouting or throwing something. The recent Amber Heard case is a wonderful example of this.

Who knows how bad this really is. It could be something very trivial that is a way for an unhappy ex to try to milk her former alpha male husband for some money while also getting back at him for, presumably, unmet expectations and an unhappy marriage. Or, it could be a tale of a man roided up and who wasn't able to deal with the disappointments in both codes of rugby, and injury problems, and who took out some unresolved anger regarding his father's death on his wife, who may well have endured a torrid time married to him and who deserves justice for what she endured. We simply don't know.

The latter is the narrative the papers are hinting at, as always: the bigger the story the better the sales/clicks.

We'll have to wait and see but something about this stinks to my nose given the way he has stuck his neck out over the last 12 months about the Fords. It doesn't seem unreasonable that there are enough people looking to take him down and who hired people to do just that; they found a receptive ex wife as the way of doing this. But we'll have to wait and see. There's clearly no smoke without fire, it's just a case of knowing not to confuse a matchstick with a raging forest fire or vice versa.

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Post by LondonTiger on Wed 14 Oct 2020, 12:09 pm

As:

1) His ex-wife got about 75% of their shared assets
2) The court case was arraigned in November last year to be tried in June of this (delayed due to Covid)
3) This is all in Australia, and other than Burgess features just Australians

I have to say this theory that he has been set up seems like complete and utter hogwash to me. But conspiracy theories are all the rage right now.

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