Sam Burgess stands down from Fox Sports and South Sydney Rabbitohs after NRL investigation launched into serious allegations of misconduct
Former England rugby league star Sam Burgess has stood down from his roles with Fox Sports and the South Sydney Rabbitohs after the National Rugby League launched an investigation following strong allegations into his conduct.
A four-month investigation by The Australian newspaper claimed that 31-year-old Burgess had committed a string of misconduct allegations, which included domestic violence claims surrounding his ex-wife Phoebe while she was pregnant, and serious allegations that the Souths covered up illegal drug use and failed drugs tests.
Burgess’s lawyer, Mark O’Brien, has strongly denied the allegation in response to the article, which was released in Australia on Thursday, but Burgess has confirmed that he will no longer continue his punditry role with NRL broadcasters Fox or his coaching role with his former club.
“I have today stood down from all work commitments,” Burgess said.
The Australian released the allegations after uncovering “pharmaceutical records, sworn statements to NSW Police, statutory declarations, witness accounts, call logs, emails, text messages, bank records, WhatsApp exchanges and Uber receipts” that revealed alleged episodes of drug use, domestic violence and abusive behaviour.
Burgess and wife Phoebe separated in December 2018, just weeks after the birth of their son Billy, but their divorce was not finalised until April this year. The pair also have a daughter together, Poppy.
O’Brien issued a strong denial of the allegations on behalf of Burgess, and claimed that the allegations had been passed on to the newspaper by sources who are “currently in dispute” with the 26-cap former international.
“The allegations are false and constitute an indefensible defamation against my client,” Mr O’Brien told the newspaper.
“It is apparent sources of the false allegations are those currently in dispute with my client over various issues.”
However, the NRL’s governing authority, the ARLC, have launched an investigation into the allegations to decide whether Burgess and the Souths have a case to answer.