Conflicting reports on Burgess’ future

How much longer Sam Burgess will be playing in rugby union is more unclear than ever after a series of conflicting reports on Wednesday and Thursday.

Media in the UK and Australia suggested that Burgess had been granted a break by his club, Bath, to re-consider his future in the sport after receiving plenty of criticism for his involvement in England's diastrous World Cup campaign.

A return to the South Sydney Rabbitohs has been hinted at back in Australia, where two of the Burgess brothers, George and Thomas, have recently signed contract extensions.

Local UK newspaper The Telegraph & Argus also report that Burgess is set to marry his fiancée back in Australia this December.

Burgess has also been linked with a move to Super League side Leeds Rhinos and was spotted alongside England Rugby League head coach Steve McNamara during the team's win over France last weekend.

However, Bath head Mike Ford told the BBC on Thursday that Burgess would be honouring his contract and had been given some time off until next Monday.

"This is the time that he becomes a better rugby union player," Ford said.

"I've spoken to Sam many times and we've spoken about coming back to Bath, rolling his sleeves up and playing [at number] six for us.

"Everything we have spoken about has been about his future and playing well for Bath and potentially getting him to play for England in the Six Nations – or, if not, at the end of the season on tour to Australia."