- Sam Burgess can’t play in NRL until South Sydney is under the salary cap
- Reports in Australia claim the competition won’t ratify his return to league
- Burgess signed a three-year deal worth a reported record $1.5m a season
- Rabbitohs NRL season kicks off on March 6 against the Sydney Roosters
Published: 12:41 EST, 26 November 2015 | Updated: 13:00 EST, 26 November 2015
Sam Burgess’s rugby league return has been stalled with the NRL reportedly blocking his move to South Sydney because his record-breaking contract takes the club over the salary cap.
Burgess turned his back on Bath and England rugby union after the World Cup to rejoin the Rabbitohs in a deal said to be worth $1.5 million (£720,000) a season over three years.
The Seven Network claims the NRL won’t yet ratify the deal though, even after centre Dylan Walker was released from the final year of his contract in the wake of a prescription drug scandal.
The NRL has reportedly blocked South Sydney Rabbitohs’ registration of star recruit Sam Burgess
Burgess returned to the Australian rugby league club after walking out on Bath and England rugby union
The 26-year-old has been welcomed back to the Rabbitohs as a hero after leading them to victory in 2014
The Rabbitohs granted Walker’s request to be released from the club so he could secure his long-term future elsewhere.
But still the NRL require Souths to find further space in their $6.8million 2016 season salary cap before their season opener against the Sydney Roosters on March 6.
Coach Michael McGuire will be keen to have the situation rectified and his star forward on the field ahead of the club’s pre-season fixtures against St George-Illawarra in their annual Charity Shield match on February 13 and the following week against the Gold Coast Titans.
Queensland back-rower Chris McQueen could be a potential casualty, with reports suggesting he is eyeing a move to Penrith which would create the required room in the books for Burgess.
Burgess was welcomed back the Bunnies as a hero after leading the club to its first grand final triumph in 43 years in 2014, with the agile prop playing through a broken eye socket and cheekbone suffered inside the opening five minutes.
The 26-year-old came under fire after being chosen for England’s Rugby World Cup squad ahead of more seasoned centres, including Luther Burrell, before Stuart Lancaster’s side failed to make it out of the group stage after losing to Wales and Australia.
Burgess arrived back in Sydney with fiancee Phoebe Hook after barely a year in English rugby
Burgess’s selection for England was used as a rod with which to beat sacked coach Stuart Lancaster