Rabbitohs coach Wayne Bennett is used to making the tough calls.
Rabbitohs coach Wayne Bennett is used to making the tough calls.

Bennett's cruel, last-gasp axing

GEORGE Burgess's NRL career is over unless the South Sydney Rabbitohs can cause an upset over the Raiders in Canberra tonight.

Souths coach Wayne Bennett reportedly made the decision to dump Burgess from his 17 earlier this week, but has kept the decision secret since naming Burgess on the bench in the No.14 jumper on Tuesday.

Burgess has played just two games since his eye-gouge suspension in round 15 and played just 10 minutes against Manly last week.

The English star has played 149 games in the NRL, but is now unlikely to ever reach the 150-game milestone.

Burgess earlier this year signed a three-year deal with English Super League club Wigan.

Channel 9's Danny Weidler told Macquarie Sports Radio on Friday that Burgess was not injured and had simply been dropped.

"He won't play," Weidler said.

"It's just the way Wayne Bennett is going to play his side. I haven't heard about other changes, I just got a tip-off about George."

The Bunnies will reportedly either throw in either Dean Britt or Jaydn Su'A as Burgess' replacement.

The decision to axe Burgess could also be the result of the expected move to push Sam Burgess back into the middle of the field after South Sydney's disastrous edge defence against Manly last week.

Weidler, who first reported George Burgess's axing, said Sam Burgess needed to have the game of his season if Souths were to win through to the grand final.

"The major problem for South Sydney last weekend was their edges. Sam Burgess and (Adam) Reynolds and others didn't really combine really well," he said.

"So you'd think that Sam will have a more up-the-middle role, which traditionally he was playing before this year. Up against the big boppers of the Raiders it could be effective."

The Rabbitohs earlier this week also lost James Roberts to a thumb injury. Campbell Graham will play in the centres and Corey Allen comes on to the wing.

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