The tenure of Sam Burgess at the South Sydney Rabbitohs reached an abrupt end when the assistant coach unexpectedly left the morning training session. This marked the end of a turbulent 48-hour period for the team.
Burgess was ushered away from the training ground by his partner, Lucy Graham, ahead of the day’s training session. He was compelled to face a press contingent as he left the club’s HQ at Heffron Park.
Set to transition to the Super League’s Warrington club next year, Burgess’s premature departure from South Sydney has ignited fresh speculation surrounding the Bunnies. The team is experiencing a conspicuous slump in form and there are whispers of discord among the players and coaching staff.
In an official statement, Burgess commented that, “I’ve made the decision to step away from South Sydney, given the circumstances. “My immediate focus is the upcoming birth of our baby and preparing for my new role at Warrington.”
Following Burgess’s swift exit, Morris’s future remained uncertain. However, he attended training, shared humour with Demetriou and was confirmed to stay with the club. Morris is, however, expected to become the secondary coach to Benji Marshall at Wests Tigers in the coming season.
The exit of Burgess from the Rabbitohs, during what is a critical period for the team, cannot be overlooked. Burgess, a former prop who played a key role in the Rabbitoh’s 2014 premiership win, maintains a strong connection with his former teammates at the club.
His brother Tom was seen at training following Burgess’s departure. With his absence, it now falls upon Demetriou to ensure cohesion within the team as the season reaches its climax.
Tensions appear to exist amongst the team’s players regarding Mitchell, who seems to receive lenient treatment from Demetriou. The team is in a precarious standing requiring a win over rivals, the Sydney Roosters, in the upcoming week to secure their place in the top eight standings.
South Sydney has not missed a spot in the finals since 2017, and their cause has not been aided by Mitchell’s suspension on Tuesday for dangerous contact in the recent poor performance against Newcastle.
Mitchell’s commitment has been the subject of scrutiny all season. Internal concerns have been raised about his level of fitness and dedication after he spent 10 weeks out of action due to a calf injury. His noticeable involvement in social events and a sub-par showing against Newcastle whilst the Rabbitohs’ season hangs in the balance has not gone unnoticed.