Rugby League - Burgess brothers edge closer to history

The Burgess brothers' dream of all playing together in the same team moved a step closer to reality when three of the four were named in South Sydney's 20-man squad for Sunday's "road trip" to Perth.

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Rugby League - Burgess brothers edge closer to history
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Sam Burgess is an integral part of South Sydney's squad

All four are available for the Rabbitohs for the first time after oldest brother Luke completed his recovery from a shoulder injury.

However, he will make his comeback with feeder club North Sydney in the NSW Cup on Sunday and Tom looks set to make way for identical twin George when coach Michael Maguire finalises his line-up for the NRL game against New Zealand Warriors.

George, who played himself into World Cup contention with a series of blockbusting displays, lost his spot after being suspended for two matches for throwing a street sign through a car window during post-match celebrations in Cairns a fortnight ago.

He has been named on an extended bench, alongside Tom, who only joined Souths this season and became the last of the Burgess brothers to make his NRL debut while deputising for George in the club's recent win over Parramatta.

"I've got a couple of decisions to make at the back end of the week," Maguire said. "The boys are playing well. George has been performing. Obviously he's gone through a bit of a tough time but he's going to bounce from that and I'm looking forward to seeing him in the mix again."

Luke and George, along with Sam, all briefly played together last season and it seems inevitable that one day all four will be team-mates, enabling the Rabbitohs to become the first team to field four siblings since Annandale had the Norman brothers - Ray, Roy, Rex and Bernard - in their side that lost 19-2 to Souths in 1910.

It is even conceivable that all four could play for England in the end-of-season World Cup, with Sam and George already looking to be certainties. England coach Steve McNamara, who has spent the last fortnight in Australia catching up with his NRL-based players, admits that he has begun to contemplate the prospect.

"It is a possibility," he told the Sydney daily Telegraph. "You never say never. Tom is only just making his way and has played one or two games but, if he has the same rapid rise as his brother George and has an impact in the NRL, then he would give himself a chance.

"Luke has been out injured for most of the season but, if Souths go all the way to the grand final and all those players are in the team and making an impact, then they would give themselves every opportunity."

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