Ford says Burgess will continue to play rugby union amid talks that he is considering a return to play for his former rugby league side South Sydney Rabbitohs

Bath coach Mike Ford has again insisted that England centre Sam Burgess will stay at Bath and will not make a return back to rugby league. Rumours have been rife in Australia that he is going to return to South Sydney Rabbitohs.

Burgess was controversially picked for England’s World Cup campaign but was given time off by Ford when he reported back to training. Stuart Lancaster picked him in midfield ahead of international centre Luther Burrell despite Burgess playing as a as a blindside flanker for Bath.

Ford told the BBC: “Last week Sam came back into training because initially that’s what he wanted, but then he did and he didn’t quite feel right.

“We decided to give him time off there and then, which means that he’s gone away to get refreshed and will be back in training on November 2.

Sam Burgess

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“There are no dramas here. Everyone has put two and two together, seen him sitting next to [England rugby league coach] Steve McNamara watching his brother play rugby league.”

Burgess signed a three-year contract with Bath, which runs until June 2017, and Ford fully expects Burgess to honour that agreement.

Ford said: “I’ve spoken to Sam many times and we’ve spoken about coming back to Bath, rolling his sleeves up and playing [at number] six for us.”

He added that Burgess still harbours aspirations to partake in next year’s Six Nations Championship.

Ford added: “Everything we have spoken about has been about his future and playing well for Bath and potentially getting him to play for England in the Six Nations – or, if not, at the end of the season on tour to Australia.”

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