Burgess hopes new season won’t bring any slip-ups

Joe Burgess in training
Joe Burgess in training

Winger Joe Burgess has one main goal in mind when the new season kicks off in February.

With two Grand Final losses and a Wembley defeat behind him, all he wants to do is erase his record of never having won a final.

Despite collecting a World Club Challenge winner’s medal last year, the 23-year-old still has an itch to scratch when it comes to silverware, which has been irritated by last year’s disappointing Super League campaign.

“I’ve come up short every time. The World Club Challenge was big but losing at Wembley was gutting,” said Burgess, who was playing in the NRL when Wigan won the 2016 Grand Final.

“I’ve never won one.

“I wouldn’t say it was a disaster year but I was nowhere near my best.

“I didn’t get picked for England which was a big disappointment but my main thing is to win a final.”

The Warriors players are already into the swing of their pre-season preparations, and while specific targets are not yet on the agenda, Burgess has goals in mind.

“It’s been two weights sessions a day and a lot of static skills,” he said.

“I just want a real big improvement from last year.”

But the demanding pre-season schedule also brings with it some laughs, and a particularly muddy surface at their Orrell training base brought back some good memories for the Ince Rose Bridge product. “We’ve been slipping around in the mud and every time I do that it reminds me of my grandad,” said Burgess.

“He took my training when I was younger and he would tell me off when I did it.

“One time he thought it was one of my team-mates when I slid through the mud and when he saw it was me he walked off and left me.

“You have to make the most of it.”

Having played three times for England in 2015, Burgess will also be hoping to play himself into contention for next year’s Test Series against New Zealand.

And even though he is disappointed not to be involved in this year’s World Cup, he will still be keeping an eye on how team-mates Sean O’Loughlin and John Bateman fare in their semi-final against Tonga on Saturday.

“I’ll give it a watch, with our team-mates playing and not just that – it’s England and you still you want them to win,” he said. “It’s an early start though (5am UK time) so I might have to record it!”