Russell Crowe’s bush footy team DOUBLE in a shocking blow to former manager Sam Burgess after he guided them to the Grand Final, leaving Souths legend ‘gutted’
Former NRL star Sam Burgess has said he is “gutted” by the disappearance of Orara Valley Axemen, Russell Crowe’s American football club.
The North Shore NSW rugby league club went out of business this week, with officials confirming in a statement that the team had made the “difficult decision to withdraw from Group 2 competition.”
The South Sydney legend made the surprise change to manager last April, when he was appointed in charge of the Axemen and led them to a Grand Final loss against South Grafton Rebels.
His appointment came just two years after Crowe helped save the Axemen when they were forced to withdraw from their local competition in 2020.
I am really devastated. The energy and hope that was put into the box will not be there again next season,” Burgess told the Daily Telegraph.
Sam Burgess has been devastated by the disappearance of the Orara Valley Axemen
The former NRL star took charge of the NSW North Coast Rugby League last year.
‘This is the challenge facing the game in regions of countries with numbers of participation, support and power of the people.
“I hope they don’t give up and maybe take 12 months to rebuild and get back into competition because it’s desperately needed there.”
The Axemen were forced to fold after failing to recover from a significant loss of players at the end of last season.
‘The decision to withdraw from the competition has been heartbreaking for all involved.
‘We extend our heartfelt gratitude to all of our loyal fans, patrons and volunteers who have supported us over the years.
‘It is thanks to their unwavering support that we were able to present a competitive club and establish ourselves as a force to be reckoned with in Group 2 competition.
We remain committed to our community and will continue to support rugby league in our region. We hope to change this before the 2024 season.”
The Axemen were rescued from the brink by South Sydney co-owner Russell Crowe in 2020
Burgess was surprisingly appointed as the Axemen’s coach in April of last year.
The former dual-code England international has since returned to the Rabbitohs and is part of Jason Demetriou’s coaching staff.
Burgess has since moved out on his own, returning to South Sydney as part of Jason Demetriou’s coaching staff for this season after being linked with a reunion with Wayne Bennett at the Dolphins.
Benett coached the former double-coded England international during the latter’s final season at Redfern in 2019. Burgess spent eight years with the Rabbitohs, winning the 2014 NRL Grand Final as the Bunnies ended a 43-year wait for a premiership.
And Burgess called on the NRL to set out a path to ensure that some of the game’s biggest stars are able to lend their expertise to clubs in rural areas to help the code thrive.
“I also think there is a system somewhere where retired and past players, on a transition period out of the NRL, can go back to their hometowns in rural areas and give back to the game for a year or two.” , said. saying.