ENGLISH rugby union star Sam Burgess is set to be lured back to rugby league with the richest deal in the game’s 108-year history.

The Daily Telegraph can reveal that Burgess’ contract with an NRL club would be worth a whopping $1.5 million a season — placing him on a more lucrative deal than Kangaroos captain Cameron Smith, South Sydney star Greg Inglis and Dally M Medallist Johnathan Thurston.

On top of his base salary, Burgess’ deal would be topped up by registered, but uncapped, third-party agreements.

His English rugby union club, Bath, have granted him leave to sort out his future, but have granted him a release.


With last right of refusal, South Sydney are firm favourite to sign Burgess, although he is likely to receive interest from just about every other NRL club. Manly expressed an interest earlier this year after the Sea Eagles signed his brother, Luke.

Sam Burgess and Sea Eagles chief executive Joe Kelly are also close from their time at Souths.

NRL clubs are well aware of the $1.5 million price tag and are holding discreet internal talks about how they could sign Burgess, who has been in Spain, but is due to return to Bath training on Monday.

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