Sam Burgess still making impact at Souths

Sam Burgess is still making his presence felt at Redfern, even in retirement, with the former captain returning to hand out advice to the South Sydney players on Tuesday.

Forced into retirement at the end of last season due to a chronic shoulder injury, Burgess hadn’t been able to visit his old team due to COVID-19 restrictions but was back on deck at training.

Prop Junior Tatola, who was mentored by dual international Burgess while he was at the club, said it was good to hear from him as they prepare for their Sunday night NRL clash with Canterbury.

“He’s pulled me aside and had a chat to a few of the boys and told us how we are going and what we need to improve on,” Tatola said.

“He said we need to play together as a team and as a forward pack as well, as we get a bit disjointed at times with one-out carries so we could be better that way.”

With three wins and four losses to sit ninth on the competition ladder, Tatola admitted they missed the experience and presence of Burgess.

“His presence is pretty big when he’s out on the field with us so we do miss him out there,” he said.

“He brings a lot of leadership and energy but I have full trust in the boys we have here and new leaders can step up.”

Tom Burgess added he missed playing alongside his brother, who brought an “aura” to the line-up.

But he felt Tatola had made a seamless transition from his bench role to replacing the older Burgess as a starting prop.

“Junior came in and held his spot on the bench and he’s continually grown as a player, and as a bloke and he’s really come into his own.”

He admitted the Rabbitohs needed to cut down on their mounting errors and penalties, which proved costly in last round’s loss to the Panthers.

“I think it’s something we can fix pretty easy – it’s just little details in the execution.”





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