Burgess recalled, Asotasi confirms UK move
Competition favourites South Sydney have recalled English prop George Burgess for Sunday's NRL road trip to Perth with the New Zealand Warriors after the powerhouse forward completed a two-match suspension for an off-field incident last month.
Burgess was also fined $A10,000 by the club after admitting two counts of wilful damage in the hours following South Sydney's victory over the Gold Coast Titans in Cairns on June 16.
The 21-year-old threw a street sign through the window of a parked car and damaged more property during the alcohol-fuelled rampage - he surrendered to police and is due to face court in the North Queensland city next Wednesday.
Burgess has been named on an extended interchange bench, his brother Tom set to be demoted when Michael Maguire finalises his line-up shortly before kick-off at nib Stadium.
Queensland State of Origin representative Chris McQueen returns to the starting second row for Ben Lowe after missing the 32-2 romp over the Raiders on Friday through a knock picked up in the Maroons' series-levelling win in Brisbane last Wednesday.
Wing Andrew Everingham also returns to the starting side for Justin Hunt.
While Burgess, one of three brothers on the club's roster, is regarded as a player of the future, former Kiwis international Roy Asotasi today confirmed a two-year move to the English Super League.
The 31-year-old, a key recruit when the Rabbitohs started an ambitious rebuilding programme in the 2007 season, has signed with the Warrington Wolves and will stay in the north of England after leading Samoa at the World Cup in October-November.
"Roy started the revolution at the Rabbitohs when he signed with us back in 2006 and we will never forget that," said South Sydney chief executive Shane Richardson.
"Roy will always be remembered as one of the players to set us on our current path, as a person who has helped take us from the doldrums on the field to a position where we are a contender for the premiership, and hopefully we can send him out on the right note at the end of the year."
Asotasi made his first grade debut in 2002 for the Canterbury Bulldogs, won a premiership with that club in 2004 and also played 24 tests for the Kiwis between 2004-09.
The Aucklander captained the Kiwis between 2007-09 and was entrusted with that role when he switched allegiance and represented Samoa against Tonga during their one-off test in April.
Asotasi brought up the 200-game first grade milestone earlier this season and has played 122 games for the Rabbitohs despite injury-marred campaigns in 2011-12 that yielded only 21 appearances.
First year head coach Maguire credited Asotasi for mentoring many members of the current squad.
"Roy's professionalism really stood out for me when I first came to Souths," he said.
Those qualities did not prevent Maguire axing Asotasi from the round three clash with Penrith though knuckling down in training paid off and the stalwart has been a fixture in the match-day 17 ever since.
Asotasi said he was looking forward to his career move but was desperate to sign off with the Rabbitohs first premiership since 1971.
"We have much more to achieve at this club and the job isn't done yet. I'm looking forward to playing my part for the rest of the year."
The Rabbitohs are four points clear of the second-placed Roosters heading into the round 17 clash with the Warriors, who sit 10th.
South Sydney: Greg Inglis, Nathan Merritt, Bryson Goodwin, Dylan Walker, Andrew Everingham, John Sutton, Adam Reynolds, Dave Tyrrell, Issac Luke, Roy Asotasi, Chris McQueen, Ben Te'o, Sam Burgess. Interchange: Nathan Peats, Ben Lowe, Jeff Lima, George Burgess, Thomas Burgess, Justin Hunt, Dylan Farrell (three to be omitted).