George Burgess has looked into the future – while preparing for the past

GEORGE Burgess admits he has had a look into the ‘scary’ future as he endures life without rugby league – while dipping into the past as a dinosaur and facing up to life as a 12-year-old.

The Wigan man can see some positives from the sport’s Covid-19 shutdown, namely that he has been around his wife Joanna and three young children a lot more during their first year in England.

George Burgess admits rugby league’s lockdown has had him looking both backwards and forwards

Normally, yesterday would have seen the former England international experience one of the reasons why he left NRL side South Sydney – Good Friday’s derby at St Helens.

But this is far from a normal year – even son Boston’s third birthday on Wednesday was not normal as brothers Sam, Luke and Tom and mother Julie attended a party on the Zoom app.

It saw Burgess dress up as a dinosaur in his garden as his eldest boy is obsessed with them but he really wants to get back doing what he does best – and it is not looking like something from Jurassic Park.

“I’m missing rugby league,” the prop said. “It’s just being around the other players and getting out on the field.

“Normally, I’m preparing for games. It’s a bit scary to think of what it might be like if you retire – you want things to keep you busy.

The Wigan prop admits he dressed as a dinosaur for his son’s third birthday

“And I looked at the fixture list early in the season and picked the St Helens game out as a big one. Hopefully we can replay it at some point when the season gets up and running.”

When, or if, Super League restarts, clubs can expect midweek matches to catch up.

That would mean Burgess, 27, would be tasting life as a kid at amateur side Dewsbury Moor again – a packed schedule was never experienced at Bradford or NRL side South Sydney.

“I’ve probably not done anything like that since I was 12-years-old,” he added as he manages to do some weights work while walking a lot with his family.

“It’ll be different, that’s for sure, and it’s going to test teams’ depth. We’re going to have to rotate players a lot more and it’ll test how strong your squad is.

Wigan skipper Sean O’Loughlin and team-mates should be looking back on Good Friday’s derby with St Helens

“Some may struggle with that, especially someone like Toronto – who only have a small squad anyway, but we’ll just have to roll with it.”

Had Burgess not moved to Super League, he would be gearing up for a May 28 restart after the NRL announced ambitious plans on Thursday.

But having spoken to family over in Australia, he knows things are much changed from over here.

He said: “Over there, they’re in a very different situation to the UK.  They’ve managed to cut the figures massively in terms of deaths.”


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