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5th May 2018, 18:30 | englandrl

Home & Away: Tom Burgess

Home & Away: Tom Burgess

By Steve Mascord

TOM BURGESS keeps up to date with Super League using an app invented by a friend.

rugby-league.com: You must be pleased there is still no doubt over the Denver Test.

Tom Burgess: “Yeah definitely. I think a lot of the problem was communication. That’s what was needed to get it over the line and now it’s been explained to the club we’re all ready to go. We’ll be well looked after. The flight’s not such a big deal.”

RLC: Do you think we’re entering an era where players are going to stand up for this sort of thing more? We saw what happened with the Tongan players last year and you guys made a joint statement about this.

TB: “Yeah. I mean, we’re the ones playing the game and we want to grow it. We’ve got to be in the conversation. At the end of the day, the players are the product and it’s good to be involved in decision making.”

RLC: South Sydney played Brisbane at the weekend. Did you get a chance to have a chat to Wayne?

TB: “I didn’t, actually. I didn’t see him. They must have had to head off quickly or something. I spoke to him the other day. He’s getting excited for Denver. We’ll see each other there. He’s not really much of small talk man, is Wayne.”

RLC: Tell us how the season’s gone so far. You’ve played some really good footy and you’re been getting plenty of good results. What would you say has change?

TB: “I think we’re playing with some good shape coming out of yardage and that’s probably putting teams in two minds at times and they don’t know what to expect off us, which is good. We’re good at the the play-the-ball, using some skill, which is good, getting some good momentum and seem to be capitalising on that. I think we’re going alright but there’s still plenty to work on.”

RLC: What about yourself and your brothers this year. You’re getting good reviews, the critics say Sam is back to being the best forward in the competition.

TB: “I prefer to talk about the team as a whole but personally I’m happy with how things have gone. For me, I’ve just been trying to keep things simple going into games. That helps me. Hopefully that can continue to work for me this year.”

RLC: Have you been keeping an eye on Betfred Super League?

TB: “Yeah I do keep an eye on the Super League and particularly with Luke and what he’s doing each week over at Salford. I’ve got a few mates on Rugby League Selects - another mate actually started that app up. I have a go at that but sometimes I forget to do my selections.”

RLC: Someone else mentioned Rugby League Selects to me last night. I had no idea what it was. Tell me…

TB: Yeah, well, my friend Kelvin Fletcher, he’s a big rugby league fan and his brother Dean is a smart cookie and he’s good with numbers he started this app. He’s very good with numbers and he’s found this way each week to add all the numbers up. It’s pretty cool. You can only pick the same (fantasy) team twice in a year. The amount they win by is how many points you get. You go into it to win a trophy, you’ve got to get the most points.”.

RLC: So everyone goes into a big table?

TB: “Yeah you can have your own team as well, with all your mates. There’s also a national league but I don’t think I’m going well enough for that!”

RLC: What about the Kiwi series at the end of the year? Is that too far away for you to think about?

TB: “It is a bit far but then again it creeps up on you quickly. Before you know it, it’s on. With the World Cup last year, it came around quick. I was really happy to play in the series against the Kiwis in 2015. I thought it played a really big role in my development. I always look forward to going back to England to play, and playing at some big stadiums as well - Hull, Leeds in Elland Road and then Anfield”

RLC: Have you noticed any difference in the way the game is played this year that might have an impact in the Test series?

TB: “I don’t know, there’s quite a lot of penalties at the moment. They’re trying cut down the wrestling so maybe by the end of the year that might have an impact on the series. Because teams, in the tackle, just try to hold down and they’re trying to speed it up a little bit. So that’s probably a trend there, trying to speed up the ruck a bit, make the game a bit more free-flowing. I think that would probably suit the English style of play more. We like to play faster and that’s better for the fans. It was getting a bit like a wrestle-a-thon, teams slowing it down, and people don’t want to see that. They want to see skill and ball movement. It just might take a couple of months for what they are doing to have an effect.”