sport

Bath bullish over Burgess

Bath say they will call the shots over Sam Burgess's development after financing his big-money switch to rugby union.

Burgess will move to the Recreation Ground in October at the end of the NRL season after securing a high-profile move from South Sydney Rabbitohs.

The Rugby Football Union was rumoured to have offered financial assistance to

bring the Englishman across codes and continents, with an eye on his international future.

But head coach Mike Ford revealed Bath owner Bruce Craig had bankrolled the 500,000 transfer and insisted Bath would mastermind the player's transition.

"He's our player, Bruce has financed the deal, he's our player and we'll decide, when the time's right, where he plays, and we'll develop him the way we want," said former England coach Ford.

Best place

"It's fantastic for us. I feel this is the best place for Sam to make the transition.

"We'll figure out his best position pretty quickly, but we're quite relaxed about that for now.

"The way you want to play the game will dictate where you put Sam. Obviously he's world-class, and the saga and the way we got him was pretty satisfying as well, it wasn't easy by any stretch.

"We think it's a huge signing, a major coup. The kid went to Australia when he was 19 and in four years has become arguably the best player in that competition; he's a megastar in the NRL.

"He wants to come to a club where he can make a huge difference. When I spoke to him I convinced him this was the right environment for his transfer to be as quick as possible."