Ex-England international Sam Burgess found guilty of intimidation

Telegraph Sport
·2-min read
Burgess retired in 2019 due to a chronic shoulder injury  - AP
Burgess retired in 2019 due to a chronic shoulder injury - AP

Sam Burgess, the former England dual-code international, has been convicted of intimidating his then-wife's father in an altercation in October 2019

A New South Wales state magistrate found the 32-year-old former England rugby league captain had yelled a threat in Mitchell Hooke's face at Hooke's property south of Sydney.

Magistrate Robert Rabbidge found Hooke was an "impressive, believable and consistent" witness who gave "clear and concise" evidence.

Burgess made his name in rugby league with Bradford Bulls and NRL side South Sydney Rabbitohs but became a surprise selection in Stuart Lancaster’s England squad for the disastrous 2015 World Cup campaign, just nine months after switching codes to play for Bath.

He was found guilty of intimidation, had a conviction recorded and was placed on a two-year good behaviour bond.

"I'm confused with the decision, I will appeal the decision and I won't say anything further," Burgess, who played 24 league matches for England and two for Great Britain, said as he left the court on Friday.

His lawyer Bryan Wench also said: "We will go all the way if necessary, [Burgess] has done nothing wrong."

In December 2015, Burgess married Phoebe Hooke and the couple had two children, a daughter and a son. The couple separated less than a month after their son was born in 2018.

They reconciled in April 2019 but split up for a second time in October 2019 and an apprehended violence order was taken out against Burgess on behalf of Mitchell Hooke.

Burgess retired in 2019 due to a chronic shoulder injury after a career which took in 270 games in the NRL and English Super League as well as stints with England's national rugby union and rugby league sides.

He quit as a television commentator and South Sydney assistant coach in October last year.