Sam Burgess out of New Zealand Tests to have surgery

Sam Burgess

England v New Zealand Test series on the BBC
Venues: KCOM Stadium, Hull; Anfield, Liverpool; Elland Road, Leeds
Dates: 27 October to 11 November
Coverage: Watch live coverage and highlights on BBC TV, Connected TV, online & the BBC Sport app and listen to live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra.

Forward Sam Burgess has withdrawn from England’s squad to face New Zealand to have shoulder and wrist surgery.

The 29-year-old, who captained England in last year’s World Cup final, is a key part of Wayne Bennett’s side.

“I’m gutted,” said Burgess. “But it’s imperative I get these surgeries done, and with a view to the next three or four years, I need them done now.”

England face France in a warm-up match in Leigh 10 days before the three-Test series starts on 27 October.

South Sydney’s Burgess will remain in Australia in preparation for the 2019 National Rugby League season.

England’s autumn Tests
17 October France Leigh Sports Village
27 October New Zealand KCOM Stadium, Hull
4 November New Zealand Anfield, Liverpool
11 November New Zealand Elland Road, Leeds

Burgess’ team came within one match of the Grand Final last month, losing to eventual champions Sydney Roosters 12-4 in the Preliminary Final.

An investigation into claims that South Sydney players exposed themselves to a woman via one of Burgess’ social media accounts cleared him of any wrongdoing in the days before the game.

England will name a replacement over the weekend.

Wakefield Trinity winger Tom Johnstone and centre Reece Lyne were among five newcomers named in the 24-man squad on Tuesday.

Burgess’ brothers George and Tom are also involved.

Sam Burgess adds to a lengthy list of injury absentees that already includes Gareth Widdop, Kallum Watkins, Ryan Hall, Ben Currie, Alex Walmsley and James Roby.

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BBC Sport – Rugby League

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