Sam Burgess’ facial surgery has proved more complicated than expected and raised questions about him playing out the NRL grand final win over Canterbury with the injuries.

The Clive Churchill medal winner suffered a fractured cheekbone and a fractured eye socket in a sickening head clash with Bulldogs prop James Graham in the first tackle of the game on Sunday at Sydney’s Olympic stadium.


Rabbitohs part-owner Russell Crowe tweeted on Wednesday that Burgess required four plates to be inserted during the surgery.

“Sam Burgess update. Complicated surgery. 4 plates. Insisted the nurses called him Clive. Hahaha the sparkly eyed man. What a champion,” Crowe tweeted.

Burgess played the entire game with the injury in a performance that has already gone down in rugby league folklore.


Despite the NRL’s new stringent concussion laws introduced this season, Burgess was not subject to a check on his injuries by the Rabbitohs medical staff.

Read more on ABC.