George Burgess has spoken to Wigan Warriors about possible return

George Burgess has had talks with Wigan about a possible return to the club if he can get his career back on track.

Wednesday, 16th June 2021, 6:37 pm
George Burgess comforts Oliver Gildart after the Grand Final
George Burgess comforts Oliver Gildart after the Grand Final

The prop left the Warriors earlier this year to undergo major surgery on a hip injury which limited him to just eight appearances in his debut season in Super League.

He is planning to return to Australia soon in the hope of relaunching his NRL career next year.

But the 29-year-old is open to the idea of returning to Wigan – and says chairman Ian Lenagan has left the door ajar.

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“Definitely. Definitely. If I was going to come back and play it would be at Wigan,” he told tonight’s Out of Your League podcast.

“I’ve spoken to Ian Lenagan about it already, and he said if I’m good to go he’ll be more than happy to have me back. That’s a conversation we’ve already had.

“Me and (wife) Jo and the kids have already been here, we know what it entails, we’ve got our friends here – if that was to come to pass we’d be more than happy to come back to Super League. I feel like I’d like to properly make a mark in Super League if I can.”

England international Burgess spent a decade with Souths before joining Wigan ahead of the 2019 campaign on a three-year marquee deal.

But the Covid-enforced lockdown, he says, prevented him from managing his chronic hip problem sufficiently and his health, and performances, suffered.

After deciding to undergo surgery, he made the “ethical” decision earlier this year to depart Wigan with two years on his deal to run.

“I knew this year I had to make a call and do that surgery – I couldn’t be a burden to the Wigan club any more,” he said.

“I was struggling with it last year, you could probably see that with the way I was playing, so I decided to bite the bullet and try and get it fixed rather than try and play on and not do myself any service.

“It wasn’t the club coming to me telling me it wasn’t working. They were ready to support me and get me ready for my third year. It was me who made the call to put a stop to it.

“I felt it was the right decision, and the most ethical thing to do as a club man and a team-mate.

“Wigan have been great to me, they’ve helped with my surgery and all my rehab, they’ve been awesome. You never know, I could be back playing at Wigan in a couple of years, we’ll see.”

Nearly six weeks after surgery, Burgess is hopeful about his prospects of playing again.

“I’m feeling really optimist about my future playing career. The chronic pain in my hip has gone,” he said in a wide-ranging, hour-long podcast, which was released tonight on the Super League's website and YouTube channels.

“The early signs are good, I’m quite positive about it. I still feel like I’ve got a lot to offer.”