Burgess to skipper England in Four Nations

Sam Burgess of the Rabbitohs will captain England in the Four Nations tournament, starting this month.
Sam Burgess of the Rabbitohs will captain England in the Four Nations tournament, starting this month. RICHARD WAINWRIGHT

RUGBY LEAGUE: Sam Burgess's return to rugby league has been capped by his appointment as England's new captain.

The 27-year-old South Sydney forward has been chosen ahead of former St Helens prop James Graham as the successor to Wigan loose forward Sean O'Loughlin, who was last week ruled out of the Four Nations through injury.

In making the announcement England head coach Wayne Bennett said the South Sydney star "leads from the front”.

Graham is set to lead England in Saturday's international against France in Avignon because Burgess still has to serve a one-match ban carried over from the NRL season, but he will be back to captain his country for the first time in its opening Four Nations clash with New Zealand at Huddersfield a week later, on October 30.

Burgess, who led Souths this year when Greg Inglis was absent through injury or representative duty, has long been touted as a future England captain and, after being used as the face of the Four Nations in the RFL's poster campaign, will provide it with a public relations coup.

The appointment of Burgess, who is joined in England's 24-man squad by his twin brothers George and Tom, comes less than 12 months since he returned to rugby league following an ill-fated spell in rugby union.

Burgess, a big-money buy for Bath, spent just 11 months in the 15-man code but won five caps for England under Stuart Lancaster before cutting short his stay and returning to Souths on a three-year deal.

"It is a childhood dream to be named captain,” Burgess told BBC Sport.

"It really hit home when I spoke to my mum and she got emotional. My wife is over the moon even though she is Australian.”

He becomes the seventh captain of the national side in the past decade, during which time Australia has had just two men in charge.

Since Andy Farrell quit as Great Britain skipper in 2004 to switch codes, the job has been held by Paul Sculthorpe, Adrian Morley, Graham (in a temporary capacity), Jamie Peacock and Kevin Sinfield until O'Loughlin was appointed by Steve McNamara two years ago.

Melbourne and Queensland hooker Cameron Smith, who succeeded Darren Lockyer as Kangaroos skipper in 2012, won his 45th cap in Saturday's 26-6 win over New Zealand in Perth and is showing no signs of slowing up.

with INM

Topics:  england rugby league team four nations rfl sam burgess wayne bennett

Bundaberg wins support to cut exorbitant power prices

CUT COSTS: Mayor Jack Dempsey has called for electricity cuts for the region.

Farmers, growers and irrigators set to save

NAB demands higher deposits for mortgages in Childers

'RESPONSIBLE LENDER': NAB has expanded its restricted postcode list to include Childers.

Bank identifies rising risk in region

Bundy Sugar rewrites the script for safety videos

SAFETY FIRST: Bundaberg Sugar's David Pickering, Kim Norgaard and Richie Moore.

Drones, hi-def cameras, locals star in campaign

Local Partners

Get help at financial info day

A FREE information day to help anyone in need of financial help or advice is being held today as part of Anti-Poverty Week.

Workshops to show you how to bring puppets to life

STRING SECTION: Two puppet-making workshops will be held in the region.

Ever wanted to know how to make puppets?

Barry Gibb is coming to Bluesfest 2017

FANS: Barry Gibb talks to a fan next to a cardboard cutout of his young self.

Aged 70, Gibb has re-launched his solo music career with a new album

Air-con upgrade for Moncrieff theatre

Moncrieff Entertainment Centre.Photo: Mike Knott / NewsMail

Cooler theatre on the way

In Flames are super 'proud' of new album

In Flames album to be released in November.  Photo Contributed

In Flames to release new album in November

Selma Blair blames flight outburst on 'psychotic blackout'

Selma Blair

"I am someone who should never drink, and I rarely do"

Bob Dylan acknowledges Nobel Prize win

Bob Dylan has finally acknowledged his Nobel Prize win

WATCH: Trailer for Jackman's final Wolverine film released

First trailer for the last Wolverine film with Hugh Jackman.

Thrilling trailer promises a dark, dystopian finale for Wolverine

CCTV footage surfaces of Kim Kardashian West's robbers

The blurry footage shows three men on bikes and two on foot

Cathriona White's mother claims to have Jim Carrey's results

Jim Carrey and late ex-girlfriend Cathriona White

SHE claims Carrey exposed White to herpes, chlamydia, Hepatitis A

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals

Cherrabah's mega resort plans axed

PLANS for a massive development at Cherrabah have been scrapped.

What our mayor thinks of the new draft SEQPlan

The plan to use the innovative technology as part of the new Maroochydore CBD was cemented on site today when Mayor Mark Jamieson and Envac Asia Region president Chun Yong Ha formally signed the contract for the $20 million underground waste collection system.

New plan accommodates Sunshine Coast Council's vision for growth.

Dusit Thani finance crisis 'just a small hiccup'

ON TRACK: Springfield Land Chairman, Maha Sinnathamby, Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale, Developer Richard Turner and Springfield Land Deputy Chairman, Bob Sharpless, at the recent resort sod turning ceremony.

Property developer says project remains firmly on track

Heavyweight enters real estate market

Des Besanko principal and director of Raine and Horne Springfield.

Major rebranding which has seen two big name brands merge

SEQ is the 'greatest market': property guru John McGrath

SPEAKER: John McGrath of McGrath Estate Agents is today's guest speaker at the Better Business Breakfast.

SEQ is the "greatest" real estate market, says property guru.