Rabbitohs quash Burgess departure rumours
The South Sydney Rabbitohs have denied they are shopping front-rower Tom Burgess around to rival clubs.
The England international is contracted until the end of 2018 and Burgess's teammates were informed on Thursday morning that any rumours surrounding his potential departure weren't true.
Burgess's brother Sam said the 24-year-old was as shocked as everybody else when informed of the conjecture surrounding his future.
"I think it's a load of talk really," he said.
"The first we heard of it was (Thursday) morning, it's not true so we'll move on.
"Tom spoke to Shane Richardson (Rabbitohs General Manager of Football) and it's completely not true."
South Sydney halfback Adam Reynolds echoed the sentiments of his teammate when quizzed on Burgess's future as well.
The New South Wales Origin halfback backed Burgess – while he's suspended for this weekend's game – as a huge influence around the Rabbitohs camp.
"We're fairly honest as a club. If someone gets told that they're going to move on, I think everyone knows. The Tom Burgess situation in this case is obviously not true," Reynolds said.
"Tom's a big make-up of the club and he's valued here. We love having him around. He's a good character on the field but also off it as well.
"It's one thing as a professional athlete that you have to deal with these rumours. I've had a fair share about me and there's not much you can do about it, you just have to move on."
The Rabbitohs currently sit at 13th on the NRL Telstra Premiership ladder and were displeased to be missing the finals for the first time since 2011.
2014 Clive Churchill Medallist Burgess wasn't putting the blame on any one individual's shoulders however.
Burgess said it was up to the Rabbitohs' leadership group consisting of himself, Reynolds, skipper Greg Inglis, Bryson Goodwin, Jason Clark and John Sutton to take responsibility for the club's poor season.
"Obviously the season hasn't gone the way we wanted. But to put it on a player or a couple of players is ridiculous," Burgess said.
"It's not a one-man band or a coaching issue, everyone has to look at how our season has gone and where we can improve. I still believe we shouldn't be where we're sitting on the ladder but we still have to work our way out of it.
"The more excuses you throw at it, the weaker you look though. Things contribute throughout the year of course, and the competition is getting tougher every season.
"We just have to keep raising our bar."