Bunnies’ bid to replace Burgess with Saint Frizell
The South Sydney Rabbitohs are targeting Kangaroos, NSW and St George Illawarra enforcer Tyson Frizell as a replacement for English international Sam Burgess.
Fox Sports has learned South Sydney has identified Frizell as the type of seasoned representative forward who could be a perfect fit for the expected-to-be outgoing 2014 Clive Churchill Medal winner.
The Burgess retirement issue is tipped to soon be resolved with a Rabbitohs board meeting this week expected to be informed the champion forward needs to be medically retired.
Frizell is currently contracted with the Dragons until the end of 2020 with the Red V expected to block any attempt to try and grant the Kangaroos back-rower an early release.
South Sydney have been preparing a case for why Burgess should be allowed to be medically retired after sustaining a new shoulder injury in a round five match against the Warriors earlier this season.
The most pressing question for the NRL to determine is how much - if any - of Burgess's $1 million plus contract should be included in South Sydney's salary cap for the next three years.
Burgess is contracted with the Rabbitohs until the end of 2022.
South Sydney are not the only club to be linked with Frizell with the Parramatta Eels also closely monitoring his contract negotiations with the Dragons.
Frizell, 28, has played 157 NRL appearances for the Dragons and Cronulla since making his debut in 2011. He is currently contracted with the Red V until the end of next year.
On the representative football front, Frizell has excelled at State of Origin and Test match level.
But as much as he has won State of Origin series with the Blues and a World Cup with the Kangaroos, NRL finals appearances have been few and far between.
So far he's only played in just two finals series and made it past week one once, in 2018 with the Dragons after their thrashing of the Brisbane Broncos.
Stream the 2019 Oceania Cup Live & On-Demand on KAYO SPORTS. Get your 14 day free trial and start streaming instantly >