Burgess has eyes on next Aussie test

Joe Burgess hasnt played for Wigan since the 2015 Grand Final loss to Leeds
Joe Burgess hasnt played for Wigan since the 2015 Grand Final loss to Leeds

Joe Burgess is already desperate for his next Australian challenge, and his chance to prove himself to the ‘ignorant’ NRL.

The first major test for the flying winger on his return to Wigan will be when the Super League champions take on Cronulla Sharks in the World Club Challenge on February 19.

Burgess played for Wigan in the 2015 World Club Series clash against Brisbane Broncos, scoring a length-of-the-field try, but says this year’s fixture will take on a new meaning.

“They’re a tough side and it will be a good challenge for all of us,” he said.

“It’s always good to play in those games. I know it wasn’t as good last year (a 42-12 loss to Brisbane) but the year before was quite a close game and hopefully we can make it the same this year.

“It’s a big point to prove because last year was so disappointing with the scoreline.

It’s a big point to prove because last year was so disappointing with the scoreline

Joe Burgess

“The Australians are so bothered about themselves, they don’t have a clue what’s going on over here.

“It’s a bit ignorant so I’d love to prove them wrong.”

Burgess will be fit for the start of the season after recovering from a hernia which ruled him out of a place in England’s Four Nations team at the end of the season.

And looking at his record against Australian sides while playing for Wigan, two tries from two games, he is hoping to keep that record up this time - though he wants one stat to change.

“I didn’t have the best of games against Brisbane but I ended up getting the late try,” he smiled.

He joked: “I know we lost in extra time but that was a load of rubbish anyway!

“I wouldn’t mind getting one for the win this season.”

Burgess is looking forward to making his return to Super League as a ‘more mature’ player after his season Down Under, which saw him play for both Sydney Roosters and South Sydney Rabbitohs.

“I did love it over there but everything didn’t go to plan and I’m back,” he said.

“I’ve matured a bit more because I’ve lived on my own all year, little things like that.

“In a game, yardage carried and stuff like that make a big difference so hopefully I can take that into games this year.”

Burgess revealed he played on at the end of last season despite being injured, but can’t wait to get back into action now he is nearing full fitness.

“I played quite a few weeks with it and just got through it,” he said.

“I knew I wanted to do something about it at the end of the year. I’ll definitely be back for the start and I can’t wait for next year.”