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George Burgess signs with Wigan

Suspended Rabbitohs prop George Burgess has signed a lucrative three-year deal with Super League heavyweights Wigan.

Burgess will return to the UK next season after being told Souths could not afford to retain him in 2020, kickstarting a tumultuous campaign spent largely on the sidelines.

The 27-year-old is currently serving a nine-game ban for eye-gouging but will be available for the Rabbitohs again in the first week of the finals.

Burgess had initially wanted to remain in Australia with his young family, but his latest suspension saw his market value plummet and the offer from Wigan price too good to refuse.

The English international had also knocked back a big-money bid for an immediate move to Parramatta at the start of the year in the hope of securing another Rabbitohs contract.

Burgess played an integral role in the club's 2014 premiership win, and has played 147 games for Souths since debuting in 2012.

"Although it's a huge decision to leave the NRL and say goodbye to Souths, I'm excited as to what the future will hold at Wigan Warriors and the Super League," Burgess said.

He will be joined by Parramatta's Bevan French and former Roosters and Sea Eagles pivot Jackson Hastings as Warriors recruits next year.

"George is one of the world's best front-rowers," Wigan coach Adrian Lam said. 

"He is respected highly by his peers in the NRL and at international level and his experience, leadership and physicality will be of real benefit for us moving forward. I'm looking forward to welcoming him into the group next season and working with him."

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