Sam Burgess has made the decision to return to the NRL, with reports he has left Premiership club Bath in the UK with immediate effect overnight.
South Sydney confirmed the news on Twitter this morning.
— South Sydney (@SSFCRABBITOHS) November 5, 2015
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The dual international will join the Rabbitohs until at least the end of the 2018 season, re-uniting with his brothers George and Thomas.
Rabbitohs Head Coach Michael Maguire is delighted to see Sam returning to his Australian home.
“I could not be happier to see Sam coming home to the Rabbitohs,” Coach Maguire said.
“He had an enormously positive impact on our Club, both on and off the field, throughout the five seasons he was here, and to be bringing back one of the game’s most dominant players is fantastic for not only our Club, but the game itself.
“He will add starch to our forward pack, and he will bring his leadership qualities to the team as well.
“He wanted to test himself in Rugby Union and he achieved many of his goals, becoming a dual International for England and representing his country at a Rugby World Cup.
“The next chapter is for him to return to the game he was born to play, and we’re over the moon that he is coming home to do that with his Rabbitohs family here at South Sydney.”
Burgess said he was grateful to England Rugby and Bath for his experience in Rugby Union and is now looking forward to getting stuck into training alongside his Rabbitohs teammates.
“I want to thank everyone at England Rugby and Bath for some great memories over the last 12 months,” Burgess said.
“I must also thank Bath especially for granting my release to return home to my family who I have missed more than I could have imagined.
“I am also extremely excited to be joining back up with South Sydney. I cannot wait to get back into the Rabbitohs culture, full of great people and passionate Members and supporters.
“I had a wonderful time in England and learnt a lot about the game of Rugby Union as both a back and a forward, and I have definitely developed as an all-round player and athlete after that.
“I’m now very lucky to be given the chance to come back to Souths and serve this Club and its Members.
“I look forward to getting stuck into training with all the boys and working hard for the upcoming season.”
The 26-year-old had two years left on a three-year deal with west country side Bath.
It was only last year that Burgess helped South Sydney win the NRL Grand Final and then quickly made his way overseas with hopes of playing for England at the World Cup.
He fulfilled that dream, and was a member of the England squad that became the first World Cup host nation to exit the tournament in the group stages.