Sam Burgess in strife over 'kangaroo court' claim about judiciary

Rabbitohs captain Sam Burgess will be given the opportunity to express his frustrations about the judiciary process after being summoned to a meeting with NRL CEO Todd Greenberg over his claim the system was a "kangaroo court".

Greenberg phoned Burgess on Wednesday and told him that he would need to explain why his comments should not result in a breach notice but the star forward will also get the chance to put forward his views over the judiciary system during a meeting next week.

The NRL boss recognised Burgess was clearly frustrated after missing last Friday night's opening finals match against Sydney Roosters because a grade-one contrary conduct charge, which would only have been worthy of a fine if not for his judiciary record.

However, Greenberg said Burgess appeared to have questioned the integrity of the judiciary panel and match review committee during an interview with print journalists on Tuesday.

"Everyone seems to be in uproar about this judiciary system,” Burgess said. “Who is making the calls here? Is there a discussion before these calls go out there? I don’t know. What’s the process? It’s like a kangaroo court in there."

Burgess has agreed to meet Greenberg to explain his comments, and he will be joined by the RLPA. The meeting is expected to take place next week.

"On face value, Sam’s comments about the judiciary breach our code of conduct and are offensive to both the chairman and members of the panel who carry out their duties impartially, without fear or favour," Greenberg said. 

"We take a pragmatic view about most of the debate that occurs around the game. However, the NRL judiciary is a longstanding and independent process based on the principles of natural justice in our court system.

Match: Rabbitohs v Sea Eagles

Finals Week 2 -

Full Time
Rabbitohs

Home Team

Rabbitohs

Scored 34 points
Sea Eagles

Away Team

Sea Eagles

Scored 26 points

Venue: ANZ Stadium, Sydney

Match broadcasters:

  • Nine Network
  • Foxtel
  • LIVE PASS

"Our chair is an esteemed Judge of the highest calibre and our panel members are former high-profile players who are independent from clubs.

"The integrity of the system and the people in it should never be questioned."

Burgess also called for a discussion between NRL management and senior players about the judiciary system and believes low grade offences should be liable to fines rather than suspensions, saying: "It is better than senior players missing big games that we have played nine months for".

An NRL statement said the RLPA had been notified of the action and invited to attend the meeting. A decision about whether a breach notice will be issued will be determined after the meeting.

Greenberg said all players had the opportunity to discuss issues about the game privately with the NRL at any point and it understood that he told Burgess that.

"I’ve spoken to Sam today and invited him to meet face to face to discuss the issues he has and explain his comments," Greenberg said.

Burgess has been named as captain in the second row to face Manly at ANZ Stadium in Friday night.