South Sydney star Sam Burgess hopes for a resolution to the investigation into sexting allegations before Saturday night's preliminary final against Sydney Roosters, declaring: "I am happy for the them to get to the truth".
Burgess on Tuesday faced the media for the first time since allegations of improper conduct from a social media account bearing his name were made public last Friday and said his main concern was for his wife, Phoebe, and family.
Rabbitohs fans turned out to support Burgess as he fronted a large media contingent after training at Redfern Oval on Tuesday, with one woman calling: "Be strong Sam".
A man responded: "You can't get any stronger". The fans clapped Burgess at the end of the 12-minute media conference.
The English forward was resolute as he answered questions about the investigation and the toll of the allegations, which have forced Phoebe and their two-year-old daughter, Poppy, to leave Sydney to escape paparazzi camped outside their house.
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"I just want to protect my family in this whole thing. I have got a wife, I have got a daughter, my wife is heavily pregnant so I just want them to be safe and happy but with my current situation at home there is no chance of that," Burgess said.
"It's been a tough process to go through together, but fortunately I've got a strong wife, a wife who loves me, I've got great family, great friends, great support around me."
Burgess said he couldn't go into detail about the allegations while the investigation was ongoing but hoped for a conclusion within days.
"I am glad that I am stood here today, I am glad that I have a chance to address it and speak to you guys so that you understand where I am at," he said.
"I am not running away and hiding from what is out there. I am telling you that there is an inquiry going on and it is coming to a close, hopefully in the next 24 to 48 hours."
Asked about the timing of the allegations, which were splashed on the front page of the Daily Telegraph just 24 hours before last Saturday's semi-final against St George Illawarra, Burgess said: "I have no comment to make about that. I think you can all make your own assumptions".
He added: "I am not angry, what hurts me the most is seeing my wife upset about what is out there and I have had to deal with that. I am completely happy to go through the process, be as open and honest with everything, and hopefully it is resolved sooner rather than later."
The 29-year-old dual international said he had learned from previous experiences to put any off-field controversy aside once he runs out to play and insisted the Rabbitohs' preparation for Saturday night's grand final qualifier against the Roosters would not be effected.
"I think we are all humans so you do feel it but I have had certain experiences in my life where I have had some serious emotions I have had to deal with and football has always been great for me in compartmentalising those feelings," Burgess said.
"I have a great team and great people around me to help me through. My teammates have been fantastic, I am fortunate to have a great team of players around me. We all have challenges a times and we get through them and it has bought us certainly closer together so I am grateful for that.
"I have a great family, two of my brothers are in the team, which is great, I have a beautiful wife and daughter, my mum, my mother-in-law and father-in-law have been fantastic so I have plenty of support around me. The club has been fantastic through what has been, as someone said before, a bit of circus."
Asked about the possibility of legal action, Burgess said: "Once the process is finished I will speak to my lawyer then. There is a lot of important things going on at the moment, I have got some serious football games in front of me. There is a process going on here but once it is all done and dusted, sure".
After returning from English rugby union in 2016, Burgess is now one win away from helping the Rabbitohs to their second grand final since 2014 but he admitted he hadn't had much time to think about the possibility of another premiership.
However, Burgess said he was looking forward to playing against the Roosters before a sell-out crowd for the last game at Allianz Stadium before the 30-year-old venue is demolished.
"The Roosters have had a week off so they will be fresh and ready to go," he said. "They were competition favourites earlier in the year and they are playing some good football at this time of the year. We have had two very tight games so I think we will probably be going in as underdogs."