South Sydney Rabbitohs star Sam Burgess.

Burgess excited about homecoming

Saturday evening's clash with the Newcastle Knights will be the first time Sam Burgess plays an NRL match at ANZ Stadium since leading the Rabbitohs to their first premiership in 43 years with a 30-6 triumph over the Bulldogs in the 2014 Grand Final. 

The situation was even more incredible for Burgess, who won the prestigious Clive Churchill Medal that night despite fracturing his cheekbone in the opening tackle of the game.

"It's a pretty special ground, I have a lot of fond memories there at ANZ," the Englishman said.

"I walked through the dressing sheds when we played the Charity Shield a few weeks ago and it brought back a lot of memories. Hopefully I won't try to think too much about that on Saturday and I'll just do my job."

While he's looking forward to running out on the hallowed ANZ turf, Burgess says the side's focus will be on the Knights who are coming off a heavy loss on the Gold Coast last Sunday night. 

"They're a dangerous team. Everyone in the NRL is. They've got some young guys who have got no fear. It'll be another good challenge," Burgess said. 

"I think we'll concentrate solely on our performance. For us it's always about performance. It's about performance again this weekend. We get motivated by performing to our standard."

 

After spending a year out of the game, Burgess made his return to the NRL in South Sydney's crushing win over local rivals the Roosters, playing 53 minutes in the Round 1 encounter. 

With younger brothers George and Tom missing the game, the eldest Bunny found himself playing in the front-row, which saw him restricted to just 53 minutes of action.

Burgess's reduced game-time didn't limit his output, with the 27-year-old still managing 165 metres. Now that he's been named in his preferred position at lock, the Englishman wants to get more involved. 

"I found it alright on the weekend. Coach gave me a bit of a longer rest than I'm used to," the 2014 premiership-winner said. 

"I think in 2014 I averaged almost 78 minutes a game, so I think I'll start pushing out more minutes. But Madge has got a good plan in place and he's not going to push anything too early. 

"That's a goal [playing 80 minutes]. It's probably what everyone is trying to achieve. I'm at lock this week which is a bit different to playing up front, so we'll see if I can knock out a few minutes."