Sam Burgess can’t wait to rip into the Roosters. (Brett Costello)
Sam Burgess can’t wait to rip into the Roosters. (Brett Costello)

Burgess wants to rip into Roosters

Sam Burgess ignited rugby league's 111-year rivalry by declaring: "It's always a good time to play the Roosters."

There are just 15 more sleeps until the Sydney Roosters play South Sydney in their NRL season opener at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Rabbitohs forward Burgess stood in the middle of the SCG for Fox League's season launch and said he couldn't wait to be back at the ground in from of 35,000 fans to take on former teammate Angus Crichton and the Roosters.

"It can't come quick enough," Burgess said.

It will be the Roosters' first game at their adopted home while nearby Allianz Stadium is being redeveloped.

The Roosters won the World Club Challenge against Wigan a week ago, starting fast before fading late in the game as preseason fatigue set in.

They have a trial against Manly this weekend to improve their match fitness ahead of the Rabbitohs blockbuster.

"Is it a good time to meet them? It's always a good time to play the Roosters," Burgess said. "Souths-Roosters are always great games, regardless of when it is played through a season.

"Everyone is looking forward to the season starting, certainly the players are. It (SCG) is a great place to start the season. It's pretty exciting. The pre-season has been long and gruelling."

 

What a way to start the season! (Brett Costello)
What a way to start the season! (Brett Costello)

 

Burgess acknowledged the Sydney Roosters - NRL reigning premiers - would once again start pre-season title favourites.

"You'd think so after the return of the squad, the way they performed at the back-end last year and then obviously the result over in England," Burgess said.

"But it doesn't count for much at this time of year but everyone likes to talk about the bookies' prices and I would imagine they would be there or thereabout at the start of the year.

"I don't really buy into when is a good time to get them. Everyone is really professional in today's game. Three weeks to prepare after a game in England (World Club Challenge) is long enough. The Roosters are super professional, they'll be ready."

 

After all the training, the Wayne Bennett era will finally kick off. (Dylan Robinson)
After all the training, the Wayne Bennett era will finally kick off. (Dylan Robinson)

 

The SCG rugby league goalposts were erected for Fox League launch - it was wonderful seeing them standing tall at the one-time home of rugby league.

"It's a great stadium, it's quite iconic in sport. I love my cricket as well and have been out here plenty of times watching England, some bad days, some good days," Burgess said.

"I played here a few times already - I love the ground. Hopefully it's great crowd for round one, we get some good weather and put on a good show for everyone. Everyone is excited the football has come around and it can't come quick enough."

Souths travel to Mudgee for Saturday's annual Charity Shield pre-season trial match against St George Illawarra.

 

 

Albeit a trial match in the rain at Redfern, Souths were left slightly disappointed at 20-point loss to Penrith last weekend.

"It was poor weather but, if anything, the 20 minutes I played, we took away doing the simple things quite well, especially in those conditions, grinding away and sticking at it," Burgess said.

"We got the bounce of the ball and jagged a try and then we hung in here and completed after that.

"We did the simple things well which is important early in the year. As you grow through the season, you add onto the set pieces. We trained for two or three months so I'm looking forward to getting out there in a real game."

News Corp Australia


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