AFTER starring in England's big First Test win against New Zealand, South Sydney prop Tom Burgess said brother Sam had been 'treated unfairly' in rugby union and this was 'pushing him away'.
The 2014 grand final hero is at the centre of a media storm as he ponders his future after being given leave by his club Bath, with speculation intensifying he is about to be reunited with brothers Tom and George at Redfern.
"Speaking truthfully, I think he's been treated a bit unfairly - that's probably what's pushing him away at the moment," said Tom, 23.
"He's been given 10 days, two weeks off that [coach] Mike Ford has given him to refresh mentally and he'll be assessing his options.
"He's not made any decisions yet. At the moment, he's still with Bath.
"He's new to union, that's probably why [he's been criticised] but in my opinion - I'm not an expert in union - I don't think he's done too much wrong in that World Cup. He's enjoyed it, where ever he's been so far, and he's enjoyed the experience but he's probably a bit over some of the stick he's been getting."
Asked about English reports that NRL head of strategy Shane Richardson was in Europe to secure Sam's signature for Souths, Tom answered: "I just spoke to Richo and he's not here to sign Sam.
"He's here as part of the International Federation. He's here for a week, I think he's going to the London game too. He's with [RLIF chairman] Nigel Wood, I think."
England coach Steve McNamara claimed Tom deserved some headlines of his own after a barnstorming display off the bench. Australia's chances of falling to an unprecedented third in the world rankings increased with England looking capable of a series whitewash as they survived a terrible start to hold New Zealand scoreless in the second half.
A key passage of play before a packed crowd at KC Stadium came when Kiwis centre Jordan Kahu had a try controversially disallowed for obstruction in the 26th minute and England replacement Brett Ferres scored the first of his two tries shortly afterwards.
"I wouldn't say it was the defining moment," said Kiwis coach Stephen Kearney.
"Sometimes those things happen in a game. We had 40 minutes in the second half to rectify that. We might get that call next week."
England coach Steve McNamara commented: "You can't do that, you can't run behind like that. It was the right call to disallow that try and we went up the other end to disallow that try.
"It was a big moment in the game."
The Kiwis looked to be cruising at 10-0 after 16 minutes following touchdowns to forwards Tohu Harris and Sam Moa, and there was more than a little luck about Josh Hodgson's reply in the 19th minute, which referee Ben Thaler sent upstairs as no try.
However, what looked like a Zak Hardaker knock-on had actually come off the fullback's knee. The try was given and then came the 12-point turnaround arising from the Kahu decision from video referees Richard Silverwood and Chris Kendall.
After a 12-12 halftime deadlock, five-eighth Gareth Widdop edged England ahead with a penalty goal and further tries to Huddersfield's Ferres and captain Shaun O'Loughlin put the home side one-up in the series.
The focus now shifts to London where the Second Test will be staged at the Olympic Stadium next Saturday.
ENGLAND 26 (Brett Ferres 2, Josh Hodgson, Sean O'Loughlin tries; Gareth Widdop 5 goals) defeated NEW ZEALAND 12 (Tohu Harris, Sam Moa tries; Issac Luke 2 goals) at KC Stadium. Referee: Ben Thaler (England). Crowd: 23,526