Sam Burgess issues apology over 'kanagaroo court' claim

Sam Burgess plays in the NRL for South Sydney
Sam Burgess plays in the NRL for South Sydney

England forward Sam Burgess has issued a public apology for calling the National Rugby League's judiciary a "kangaroo court".

The NRL issued Burgess with a breach notice for the comments, which were related to the governing body's disciplinary process, but chief executive Todd Greenberg says the South Sydney captain has accepted responsibility and apologised.

The 30-year-old former Bradford Bulls player has been given a suspended fine of $10,000 (£5,400).

"The chairman and members of the panel are of the highest integrity and it was never my intention to cast any doubt over their character," Burgess said in a statement released by the NRL.

"The point of my comments was to simply express concerns and frustrations I had about the processes.

"I unreservedly apologise for using the phrase 'Kangaroo Court'. I now understand it was the wrong choice of words.

"Todd and I had an open and honest conversation. Todd talked me through the procedures and rules in place across both the match review committee and the judiciary and I spoke about some of the frustrations players felt about the current processes."

Burgess made his comments after being banned for pulling the hair of Billy Smith in the final match of the regular season against Sydney Roosters.

Greenberg said: "To Sam's credit he has apologised publicly and acknowledged his mistake.

"Sam and I have agreed to continue discussions about issues in the game during the off-season with a small group of other senior players equally as committed to ensuring our players are genuine partners in the game."

Burgess returned from suspension to help the Rabbitohs beat Manly in sudden death at the weekend and will lead them in the "Battle of Britain" against Canberra on Friday for a place in the NRL Grand Final.

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