Burgess to skipper England in Four Nations

Sam Burgess of the Rabbitohs will captain England in the Four Nations tournament, starting this month.
Sam Burgess of the Rabbitohs will captain England in the Four Nations tournament, starting this month. RICHARD WAINWRIGHT

RUGBY LEAGUE: Sam Burgess's return to rugby league has been capped by his appointment as England's new captain.

The 27-year-old South Sydney forward has been chosen ahead of former St Helens prop James Graham as the successor to Wigan loose forward Sean O'Loughlin, who was last week ruled out of the Four Nations through injury.

In making the announcement England head coach Wayne Bennett said the South Sydney star "leads from the front”.

Graham is set to lead England in Saturday's international against France in Avignon because Burgess still has to serve a one-match ban carried over from the NRL season, but he will be back to captain his country for the first time in its opening Four Nations clash with New Zealand at Huddersfield a week later, on October 30.

Burgess, who led Souths this year when Greg Inglis was absent through injury or representative duty, has long been touted as a future England captain and, after being used as the face of the Four Nations in the RFL's poster campaign, will provide it with a public relations coup.

The appointment of Burgess, who is joined in England's 24-man squad by his twin brothers George and Tom, comes less than 12 months since he returned to rugby league following an ill-fated spell in rugby union.

Burgess, a big-money buy for Bath, spent just 11 months in the 15-man code but won five caps for England under Stuart Lancaster before cutting short his stay and returning to Souths on a three-year deal.

"It is a childhood dream to be named captain,” Burgess told BBC Sport.

"It really hit home when I spoke to my mum and she got emotional. My wife is over the moon even though she is Australian.”

He becomes the seventh captain of the national side in the past decade, during which time Australia has had just two men in charge.

Since Andy Farrell quit as Great Britain skipper in 2004 to switch codes, the job has been held by Paul Sculthorpe, Adrian Morley, Graham (in a temporary capacity), Jamie Peacock and Kevin Sinfield until O'Loughlin was appointed by Steve McNamara two years ago.

Melbourne and Queensland hooker Cameron Smith, who succeeded Darren Lockyer as Kangaroos skipper in 2012, won his 45th cap in Saturday's 26-6 win over New Zealand in Perth and is showing no signs of slowing up.

with INM

Topics:  england rugby league team four nations rfl sam burgess wayne bennett

Police investigate deliberately lit fire north of Grafton

Rural Fire Service Wooli Police copyright Tanja Ackerman2016

Storms hamper crew's efforts to contain bushfire in rugged terrain

Truck crash closes M1 at Chinderah

Emergency crews have responded to a two-truck crash that has closed the M1 Pacific Highway at Cudgen Rd.

Truck explodes into flames after Pacific Highway crash

VIDEO: Inside the Fortis Creek bushfire

A bushfire which started in the Fortis Creek National Park north of Grafton on Wednesday, 26th October crossed Coaldale Road late on Thursday, 27th October, 2016 and was being contained on Friday, 28th October, 2016.Photo Bill North / Daily Examiner

Firefighters work to contain blaze north of Grafton

Local Partners

Is it time for a skate park extension in Yamba?

IF YOU ever want to be truly terrified, swing by the Yamba skate park on any given day.

Angourie assembles strong team to defend home surf

SPRAY: Up-and-coming Angourie surfer Dakoda Walters practises his turns ahead of the Australian Boardriders Battle this weekend.

Australian Boardriders Battle hits Clarence Coast

Grafton does the Time Warpt again

The Time Warpt Dinner and Show is set for the Grafton District Services Club on Saturday night.

Rocky Horror dinner show comes back to Grafton

OPINION: Magpies welcome Binge back to the nest

The Lower Clarence Magpies v Casino RSM Cougars at Maclean Showground. Pictured for the Magpies is Ryan Binge (centre).

Lower Clarence Magpies have good news ahead of AGM.

Mariah Carey and James Packer discussing relationship

Mariah Carey and James Packer are discussing how to work things out

January Jones: Take time away from your phone

January Jones needs time away from her phone

Mel C won't return to Spice Girls for daughter

MEL C is adamant she won't reunite with the Spice Girls

60's British rock legends to return to Australia

The Troggs will play a string of dates across Australia in November.  Photo Contributed

We all remember 'Wild Thing' and now you can hear it live.

Grafton does the Time Warpt again

The Time Warpt Dinner and Show is set for the Grafton District Services Club on Saturday night.

Rocky Horror dinner show comes back to Grafton

Depp jumps ship from agency of 25 years

Johnny Depp has signed to CAA after 25 years with the United

Want to own one of Australia's best restaurants?

TOP GONG: Mooloolaba Spice Bar has been named in TripAdvisor's Top 10 Australian restaurants for 2016.

Here's your chance to pick up one of the Coast's favourite eateries

Maclean's highest house sale this decade

SOLD: Ray White real estate agent Alan Bruchert has just put a new sticker on Maclean's most expensive house to sell in a decade.

Unique riverfront home sells for more than $920,000

Tough times in CBD: Woolies says goodbye Ipswich

Woolworths in the Ipswich Mall.Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times

The last day of trading will be January 1

Look at me! Kath and Kim home up for sale

Kath and Kim from the iconic Aussie TV series.

'Crack open the Baileys and grab a box of BBQ Shapes'

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!