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Bradford Bulls and England forward Sam Burgess has signed a four-year contract with South Sydney, starting from next season.

The 20-year-old prop or back rower was under contract to the Bulls until the end of the 2010 season but the engage Super League club have agreed a compensation fee with the Rabbitohs.

Burgess, who has long held an ambition to play in Australia’s National Rugby League, was pursued by a host of clubs but was swayed by a face-to-face meeting with actor Russell Crowe, who has a controlling interest in the Rabbitohs.

“It’s a fantastic deal for Sam,” said Burgess’ manager Chris Caisley. “He’s highly delighted and really looking forward to testing himself at that level.”

Burgess, who was engage Super League’s young player of the year in 2007 when he made his Great Britain debut, will play for England in the end-of-season Gillette Four Nations series before linking up with his new club.