Burgess rumour 'won't go away' amid Souths slide

Jason Demetriou's clouded future at the Rabbitohs has sent the NRL rumour mill into overdrive regarding a Sam Burgess return.

Burgess rumour 'won't go away' amid Souths slide

The clouded future of Jason Demetriou has sent the NRL rumour mill into overdrive about a potential return to the Rabbitohs for a legendary figure.

Sam Burgess - one of the club's all-time greats and a premiership icon - left South Sydney towards the end of last year after a falling out with a number of key figures.

His exit came as the side dropped out of the NRL finals picture, with reports of Burgess clashing with Latrell Mitchell and Cody Walker highlighting internal issues at Redfern.

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Those dramas have only continued to begin the 2024 campaign, with the Bunnies sitting at the bottom of the table and reeling from a horror loss to the Roosters in round three.

Burgess is now plying his trade overseas as the head coach at Warrington, lifting the side to the top of the Super League ladder with four wins from five matches.

Speaking on Nine's Today, rugby league great Darren Lockyer admitted the rumours of a return to the red and green for the Englishman are unlikely to stop any time soon.

"Sam was obviously a hero when he played there and he was on the coaching staff [last year]," the former Bronco said.

"He's gone over to England and he's performing well there at Warrington.

"Those rumours won't go away while the Bunnies are struggling."

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Burgess has quickly risen through the coaching ranks in rugby league circles and is now getting the best out of a Warrington outfit that finished sixth last year, with NRL discards Matt Dufty and Paul Vaughan both relishing under his guidance.

The 35-year-old has earned instant respect within the Wolves' playing group and while he is contracted until the end of next season, could be a long-term replacement for Demetriou at the same club he became a household name over a decade ago.

Burgess also has a tight relationship with co-owner Russell Crowe, dating back to when the Hollywood actor first signed the enforcer to the Bunnies in 2010. 

As for Demetriou, the noise around his future reached fever pitch after a 48-6 drubbing at the hands of the Chooks and Lockyer admitted the pressure is growing on the coach.

"Without a doubt [he is under pressure] and Jason knows that," he said.

"He dropped his halfback, Jack Wighton came back and they still got convincingly beat last week by the Roosters. There's a few glaring issues there at the Bunnies, particularly in defence - they are letting in too many points.

"I think for JD, he's got to get them back to playing for each other."

Wayne Bennett has also been linked with a potential stint at the Rabbitohs in 2025, with his current head coaching contract at the Dolphins set to expire at the end of the year.

Souths will get an opportunity to return to the winner's circle against the Bulldogs in a traditional Good Friday clash in round four.