NRL 2019: South Sydney Rabbitohs George Burgess rejects Eels offer, takes up acting, theatre

It just wasn’t the way George Burgess wanted this script to play out.

On the same day he is set to make his on stage acting debut, the English international reaffirmed his commitment to his on-field role with South Sydney after reports linked him with a move to Parramatta this NRL season.

“I didn’t want to leave at the drop of a hat. It wasn’t the way I pictured leaving the club, that’s ultimately what made the decision,” Burgess revealed on Thursday.

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The prop spoke after rejecting a three-year offer from Parramatta, a deal which would have involved an immediate switch.

Off contract at Redfern at the end of 2019, Burgess seriously entertained the deal before opting to stay put.

“It’s always something you’ve got to consider, security for your family. And I’ve got two young kids now and another one coming,” Burgess said.

“You do get tough decisions in life, but I’ve always thought you can’t do everything for money. There’s times when you do as well, but this wasn’t one of those times.

The 26-year-old admitted it was a difficult decision.

“It was a good offer from the Eels. They’re a great club. I definitely think they’re a club that’s on the up,” he said.

“But ultimately South Sydney is where my heart is and it’s a club that I’ve spent a lot of time.”


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Burgess felt he couldn’t walk out on the club where he made his NRL debut.

“To leave under them circumstances wasn’t ideal for me. The timing just wasn’t right and I decided to go with the heart rather than the head,” he said.

Burgess, who is still in the final season of a two-year extension, backed himself to secure another deal at the Rabbitohs.

“I’ve just got to work hard, get fit, and put my best foot forward,” he said.

Burgess will also be aiming to do just that in his theatrical debut when he portrays “Prince Charming air-head” for four nights in the stage play Not So Enchanted.

“I’ve always had an interest in acting. I loved doing all the school plays when I was younger, but I didn’t always have the courage to follow it through,” he said.

“Getting older, having kids, you lose your inhibitions and I thought, ‘Why not give it a crack?’ I set it as a New Year’s resolution to do more of that stuff this year.

“I did two auditions at the start of the year and got them both. It’s something really good for me to do outside of football.”

Originally published as Why Burgess rejected ‘good offer’ from Eels, and picked up new pursuit

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