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Wigan’s Joe Burgess to move to Australia at end of next season

Wigan winger Joe Burgess is set join NRL side Sydney Roosters at the end of the season. The 20-year-old will be out of contract and general manager Kris Radlinski, who also played for the club, 3/1 with Coral to win the Grand Final next season, and is fondly thought of by fans, confirmed the winger will leave.

“We did everything we could but he wants to experience the Sydney lifestyle,” Radlinski said. “It’s a sad one for us all. We did all we could and started conversations about a year ago, when he scored four tries against Leigh.

“After many discussions it was clear to me that Joe had made his mind up. I said ‘do you want me to put Wigan’s best possible offer to you?’ He said ‘no, I want the Sydney lifestyle and to try the NRL”, Radlinski continued. “It’s a big step for him and I admire his confidence but it is a blow for us.”

Burgess, born in Wigan, is no relation to the four West Yorkshire-born Burgess brothers, all of whom played for South Sydney Rabbitohs, until Sam switched codes to Bath rugby union club in November and Luke agreed a deal to move to Manly Sea Eagles for 2015.

No doubt there might be some confusion with NRL fans about whether Joe is related to the four brothers; however, Roosters fans at least will know all about him. He is acknowledged as one of best young talents in the game, and scored in the World Club Challenge for Wigan at the beginning of last season against the Roosters.

The player is 7/1 joint-third favourite to top score next season with the Warriors and he will want to end on a high and give Wigan fans something to remember him by.

A move to the NRL might also strengthen his England credentials; despite being selected for the Four Nations tournament at the end of last season, he didn’t feature.

Seven members of the current 24-man England squad currently ply their trade in Australia, including ex-Wigan full back and arguably one of the best players in the world; Sam Tomkins.

Burgess revealed he is looking forward to the move but promises Wigan fans he will give it everything this season.

“It was a hard decision as I’ve grown up being a lifelong Wigan fan but I didn’t want to miss the opportunity,” he said. “I’m going to try my hardest to help the team win every trophy before I do go.”