Sam Burgess has returned to the footy field for the first time since his marriage breakdown, shouting at his teammates and having a quiet word with coach Wayne Bennett.
The troubled South Sydney Rabbitohs forward returned to Redfern Oval on Tuesday for the team’s inaugural training session for 2019 after spending the Christmas break splitting up with wife Phoebe and dodging paparazzi.
Burgess looked downcast as he charged about the field and huddled with Bennett – himself no stranger to a relationship falling apart in the full glare of the media spotlight.
Sam Burgess returned to the footy field for the first time since his marriage breakdown – having a quiet word with coach Wayne Bennett (left)
Despite his personal turmoil, Burgess did not shy away from the Rabbitohs’ first training session of the year at Redfern Oval on Tuesday
Still a man of the people: Burgess signed autographs for fans in the stands
Eye on the ball: The Rabbitohs forward appeared focused as he trotted around the oval in the sunshine
Burgess had a quiet word with the coach during the Rabbitohs’ inaugural training session
Bennett and his wife Trish broke off their relationship of 42 years in 2016. He is now engaged to medical secretary Dale Cage.
Burgess, 30, today appeared focused as he trotted around the oval in the sunshine, completely ignoring media.
Since packing his bags and leaving the couple’s home, Burgess is reported to have been supported by Souths co-owner Russell Crowe at his north coast property.
Burgess’s reappearance comes after it was revealed his mother had made her feelings public about his marriage breakdown.
Julie Burgess took a photo from Sam’s wedding off Facebook on Friday and replaced it instead with one of herself and three of her grandchildren.
The mother of the four English rugby league stars made the move just a day after her highest profile son was revealed to have walked out on his wife prior to Christmas.
Just hours after it was revealed her high-profile son Sam had split with his wife Phoebe, Julie Burgess took down a feature Facebook photo from his wedding day and replaced it with this picture showing her and three of her grandchildren
Sam Burgess walked out on his wife Phoebe (right) in the lead up to Christmas, after more than five years of marriage
Sam, 30, was pictured walking out of the the couple’s family home in Sydney’s south east Sydney with three fully packed overnight bags in the hand last week.
Phoebe is believed to be holed-up in the $3.8million marital home accompanied by her mother Sarah Hooke, pregnant sister Jemima Fairbanks and her husband Gene.
Just days earlier Sam had spent Christmas Day with his mum, brothers Luke, George and Tom, their partners and NSW Origin Coach Brad Fittler, at Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel.
In another social media post from the weeks leading up to the marriage breakdown Mrs Burgess wished her second oldest son a happy birthday.
‘Happy Birthday Sam! Don’t worry… 30 is the new 20!! Love you,’ she captioned the photo.
Unusually, Phoebe did not post a photo celebrating her husband’s milestone.
The demise of the South Sydney star and his journalist wife’s relationship was made public weeks the birth of their second child, William Mark Burgess, on December 9.
Sam, 30, was pictured walking out of the the couple’s family home in Sydney’s south east Sydney with three fully packed overnight bags in the hand last week
Phoebe is believed to be holed-up in the $3.8million marital home accompanied by her mother Sarah Hooke, pregnant sister Jemima Fairbanks and her husband Gene
Sam met Phoebe Hooke at an Avicii concert in January 2014. They married at her parents’ farm at Bowral in the New South Wales southern highlands in December 2015
Phoebe announced the December 9 birth of her second child William ‘Billy’ Burgess (pictured) on December 11. The couple has a daughter, Poppy Alice, who is almost two. ‘Welcome to our world little big man, our hearts are so full,’ she wrote
Announcing the news on Instagram two days later, Phoebe wrote: ‘Welcome to our world little big man, our hearts are so full’. She also used the hashtag ‘FamilyofFour’.
The Burgesses also have a daughter, Poppy Alice, who is almost two.
In September Sam was cleared of any wrongdoing after a 23-year-old woman claimed two unnamed Souths players had sent her lewd images of themselves via Facebook in May.
When news of the sexting scandal broke Phoebe, who was 28 weeks’ pregnant, cancelled a scheduled appearance at Sydney’s Royal Randwick racecourse.
The Englishman met journalist Phoebe Hooke at a concert by the late Swedish musician Avicii in early 2014. They made their public debut as a couple at the Dally M awards in September that year.
Sam reportedly proposed during a holiday in Europe and they married at Phoebe’s parents’ home in the New South Wales southern highlands in December 2015.
Julie posted a tribute to Sam on his 30th birthday. Unusually, Phoebe did not post a photo celebrating her husband’s milestone
Julie (centre) with her four sons (from L to R) Sam, Luke, George and Tom at the 2013 Dally M Awards
Phoebe Burgess was not present for this family Christmas Day gathering at Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel. Sam’s brothers Tom, George and Luke and their partners were all there. Also pictured behind Sam is NSW State of Origin coach Brad Fittler
Russell Crowe was a guest at the nuptials.
Sam and Phoebe bought a four-bedroom home at Maroubra in Sydney’s south-east for $3.8million in early 2016 and had been living there together until recently.
Burgess, a dual-code international who earns more than $1million a year, signed a contract extension with Souths in September which will see him stay at the club until the end of the 2023 season.
FIVE YEARS TOGETHER: SAM AND PHOEBE BURGESS
January 2014: Sam Burgess meets Phoebe Hooke at an Avicii concert in Sydney but hide their relationship for eight months
September 2014: Sam and Phoebe make their public debut as a couple at the Dally M awards in Sydney
October 2014: Phoebe follows Sam to the UK when he switches to rugby after winning an NRL premiership with Souths
June 2015: Phoebe flashes a large diamond ring on her engagement finger after returning from a romantic Greek getaway with Sam. Their engagement is confirmed on Sunrise
October 2015: Sam is given leave from Bath rugby club to ‘spend time with family’ amid speculation over returning to rugby league
November 2015: The couple returns to Sydney where Sam rejoins the Rabbitohs
December 28, 2015: Sam and Phoebe marry at her parents’ home in the NSW southern highlands
January 24, 2017: Phoebe gives birth to the couple’s first child, Poppy Alice
December 9, 2018: Phoebe gives birth to their son William ‘Billy’ Mark
December 25, 2018: Phoebe does not attend a Burgess family Christmas gathering
January 2, 2019: Sam is photographed taking bags from the marital home
January 9, 2019: Sam returns to training