South Sydney captain John Sutton says it’ll be a big loss if Sam Burgess quits the NRL at the end of the 2014 season to switch to rugby union.
The UK’s Daily Mail on Thursday said the English international forward had accepted a three-year deal with an English rugby club, in the hope of playing at the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
Burgess’ departure from rugby league was expected to be confirmed once financial terms – including an estimated £500,000 ($A920,000) transfer fee – had been finalised, it reported.
Burgess has been a key figure in South Sydney’s re-emergence as a rugby league powerhouse since being recruited by owner Russell Crowe and he is contracted to them until the end of 2016.
“It would be a loss, he is a great player,” said Sutton on Thursday, when told of the report.
“Ever since he (Burgess) came to Souths he has been a leader.
“He would be a big loss if he does go but I don’t know anything about that.
“I’m not worried. We have a year ahead to worry about.”
According to the Daily Mail report, England’s Rugby Football Union are likely to pay a share of the fee given Burgess has been identified as a primary target by England national team coaches.