Retirement would've been the "easy option" for George Burgess, according to his twin Tom, who is ecstatic about the prop's NRL comeback after major hip surgery.
St George Illawarra confirmed on Monday that George, 29, had signed a two-year contract starting in 2022 to revive his first-grade career.
Having joined Wigan from South Sydney in 2020, George played only eight games before it was mutually decided in February to terminate his deal as he underwent a resurfacing hip operation.
The 2014 premiership winner's return to Australia means he will soon be reunited with Tom for the first time in almost two years.
"He's done great to come back here and get a club. It's all down to him, what he does with it," Rabbitohs forward Tom said on Wednesday.
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"His contract is going to be incentivised for him to play, so I'm looking forward to seeing him get back fit and getting his body right.
"That's the main thing, I think. He's not rushing back or anything. He's going to give himself until next year to get fully fit.
"I'm not sure exactly where he is with it but he's starting to do some light running, I think. It'll build nicely into the pre-season."
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The twins have never played against each other in a competitive match but could lock horns in the pre-season Charity Shield.
Tom was proud of George being able to overcome the chronic nature of his hip injury.
"It was like a constant thing. He had a labral tear earlier on in his career and he had an operation," the Englishman said.
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"We've both got tight hips I think. Mechanically we're similar as twins, but I managed to do yoga or something to keep it there.
"He went under the knife and I think ever since that happened, he had a bit of arthritis and growth inside the hip.
"It's always hindered him and it just never got right. Once he went over to England and COVID hit and everything, he didn't get the right treatment, wasn't moving it as much, he lost all the range in his hip and that's where all the power comes from.
"George has shown great strength to fight back now. He's had the operation done, which wasn't an easy decision for him. It was a fairly invasive operation. I'm really proud of him and what he's done.
"Looking forward to catching up with him when we get back to Sydney. It's been nearly two years now since I've seen him. Itching to get back together and get a group hug with the brothers."
If Tom had his way, George would have rejoined South Sydney, where he made his NRL debut in 2012 and played 149 matches.
"I don't know if it was an option at Souths or not. He just had to make the right decision for him," Tom said.
In the meantime, Tom is preparing for Saturday's clash with the Titans at Cbus Super Stadium as the Rabbitohs tune up for the finals.