Official confirmation of Burgess’ exit as assistant coach was given on Wednesday morning by the Rabbitohs, after protracted discussions amongst key decision-makers at their Heffron Park training ground.
Burgess had a further option for the following year, entitling him to an additional $700,000 in 2024, even as he undertakes coaching duties in Warrington, north England, some 17,000 kilometres away.
In total, since his retirement due to a shoulder injury, Burgess has amassed almost $3 million in earnings from the club.
Despite the injury, Burgess demonstrated his physical prowess by winning the strenuous SAS Australia TV show in 2021.
It has been announced that Burgess will part ways immediately with the Rabbitohs following his resignation as assistant coach.
Inside sources at the Rabbitohs have alleged a falling out between Burgess and head coach Jason Demetriou, which sheds light on Burgess’s abrupt departure on Wednesday, whilst fellow assistant John Morris remains on board for the time being.
“Burgess has felt stymied by the team’s performance and feels that his advice is falling on deaf ears with Jason,” the source divulged.
In the midst of a form slump, the Rabbitohs are just holding onto a finals spot after suffering eight losses in their last dozen games.
South Sydney (currently eighth), North Queensland (ninth) and the Roosters (tenth) are all equal on 28 competition points but separated by goal difference. With a week off, Souths will square off against the Roosters in the last game of the round, which could potentially determine their final’s fate.
Things will need to progress without Burgess, who has entered an agreement to coach Warrington for the next two seasons.
He turned down an offer from Wayne Bennett to switch to the Dolphins this year, opting instead to return to South Sydney under the stewardship of Demetriou. As part of his return, he took on coaching duties for the Orara Valley Axemen, a local football team co-owned by Russell Crowe in northern NSW, leading them to the Grand Final, although they unfortunately lost.