Souths Sweating On Favour From Bennett


Souths Sweating On Favour From Bennett

Image: @couriermail

Languishing outside the top eight after being robbed of victory against the Broncos, the Rabbitohs are pulling out all stops to have Burgess back on deck ASAP.

The firebrand front-rower was outed for four matches after pleading guilty to a shoulder charge on Brisbane five-eighth Anthony Milford last Friday's controversial 25-24 defeat at ANZ Stadium.

Throw in a round-13 bye and - ironically - Burgess won't be back until Souths' return bout against the Broncos in Brisbane on June 9.

That is, unless the Rabbitohs can persuade the NRL to allow England's Test against Samoa in Sydney on May 6 to count as one match of Burgess's ban.

Burgess wasn't included in coach Bennett's 20-man England squad named on Monday night.

But an NRL spokesman said if Souths can prove to judiciary chairman Geoff Bellew that Burgess would have been included if not suspended, the 25-year-old - and the Rabbitohs - may earn a one-match reprieve.

"Ultimately it's up to the chairman's discretion," the spokesman told AAP on Tuesday.

"Souths could could get evidence from the English Rugby League that he was going to be picked.

"They could also ask Wayne Bennett for evidence and that could form part of their submission."

It's understood Burgess was picked in a preliminary 30-man England squad before being suspended.

The Rabbitohs, who have already sounded out Bennett, are quietly confident Burgess will only miss the next three games against Manly, Wests Tigers and Melbourne before being available to return against Parramatta in round 12.

Burgess was a key member of England's Four Nations campaign last year and would ordinarily be one of the first players picked in their Test squad.