Burgess to miss World Cup
Bradford forward Sam Burgess has been ruled out of the World Cup because he needs shoulder surgery.
Last Updated: 23/07/08 1:15pm
Sam Burgess is to miss England's World Cup bid as he needs shoulder surgery.
The Bradford forward will have the operation on Monday after suffering the injury during the Bulls' defeat at Huddersfield earlier this month.
He would have been a certainty for England coach Tony Smith's 24-man squad for the end-of-season World Cup in Australia.
But two scans and a visit to the specialist have confirmed the 19-year-old's worst fears and he will now go under the surgeon's knife.
The news is also a major blow to Bradford's hopes of salvaging something from a disappointing season.
Burgess said: "It is really disappointing but what I wanted to do, and what I know are right, are two different things.
"I'm doing the right one by going in for the op now as it needs doing. I also know I wouldn't have been able to play to my best or do myself justice if I'd have carried on, and this way I'll be fully fit for 2009."
Bradford coach Steve McNamara, who is Smith's assistant, added: "What I'd love Sam to do is carry on in Super League, hopefully help the Bulls win the competition, then go on and be a star of the World Cup.
"He wants to do that too but we both realise what is right for him in this situation and with regards his long-term future.
"I would also like to make it clear that this shoulder injury isn't the one Sam's been playing on with for the last few months.
"That was in his other shoulder and has been a simple problem with his AC joint."
Burgess made an impressive debut for England in the 56-8 win over France last month.
He was named young player of the year for 2007 after an outstanding first full season in Super League and made a try-scoring debut for Great Britain against New Zealand last October at the age of 18.
England coach Smith also expressed his disappointment at the news.
"I am really sorry to hear about Sam's injury and I feel for him now that he's lost the opportunity to win a place in the England World Cup squad," said Smith.
"However, he is a tremendous young talent and I believe he will have the chance to play plenty of international Rugby League in the future, in what is set to be a long and successful career."