England and South Sydney Rabbitohs forward Sam Burgess has announced his retirement from the game at the age of 30, following shoulder problems.
A former Dewsbury Moor junior, Burgess then came through the academy at Bradford Bulls before then moving on to Australia with South Sydney Rabbitohs.
He announced himself as a one of the games greats in the 2014 NRL Grand Final as he played almost the entire match with a broken cheekbone after a hit from England teammate James Graham, he also produced a man of the match performance as the Bunnies beat the Canterbury Bulldogs.
The England international then had a short stint in rugby union. He played his club rugby at Bath, but was then controversially selected for the England squad in the 2015 World Cup. After being made a scapegoat for a lot that went wrong in that tournament, he returned to Australia with the Rabbitohs.
His England career has seen him make many semi finals, and even the World Cup Final in 2017, but they suffered a narrow loss against Australia.
This year has been a year from hell for Burgess, after the discovery of a chronic shoulder problem during a routine operation. He even needed to be attached to a drip to fight off the infection after the operation.
Burgess said: “This decision was one of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make in my life, however the decision was out of my hands essentially. I am no longer able to be myself day in, day out on the training field and consequently the playing field.
“To my team mates and coaches along the way, I’d like to thank you all for being supportive and great men. I’ve learnt so much in my ten years at South Sydney. From the young boys all the way through to ‘the fossil’ John Sutton. I value each friendship created and they’ll last a lifetime.
“My family have been by my side the whole way, on and off the field. I love you all so much.”