Sam Burgess has been urged to continue his abrasive style of play by teammates.South Sydney stars definitely don’t want their feisty forward leader Sam Burgess to change the way he plays, despite his inglorious disciplinary record.
The powerful Englishman is available after suspension for Sunday’s clash with NRL ladder leaders St George Illawarra.
Burgess will have served out a couple of two-game suspensions before the halfway point of this season and has missed four of their last five games through bans.
His most recent charge from the match review committee was his fourth in his past seven games and the 13th in less than seven and a half seasons in the NRL.
Since his first ban in 2012, the 29-year-old Briton has missed a total of 10 NRL games.
His rap sheet includes four careless high tackles and charges for a crusher tackle, chicken wing, genital grabbing and a cannonball.
However, his Rabbitohs colleagues aren’t about to urge Burgess to tone down his aggressive instincts.
Captain Greg Inglis and fellow representative back Dane Gagai were adamant Burgess didn’t feel pressure to be the chief aggressor in the Rabbitohs’ pack.
“I don’t think he feels that, that’s just the way Sam plays,” Inglis said.
“I like the way he plays. Obviously he knows he needs to fix a few things up in his game and he’s been working on it.”
Gagai added: “I wouldn’t look at it as pressure for him.
“I think he enjoys playing that aggressive style of footy.
“It’s infectious and it spreads throughout the team so that’s what he’s good at and we don’t want him to change anything he’s doing.
“But we do obviously want to keep him throughout the season on the field.
“He plays with a high intensity and obviously we don’t want him to go out and give any penalties, or injure nobody, but it’s about bringing that energy to the team.”
Gagai emphasised Souths had plenty of depth even without Burgess and showed that in last week’s big win over Newcastle.