George Burgess says he’ll draw encouragement and inspiration from Andy Murray’s successful return to tennis as he strives to save his rugby league career.
The former South Sydney prop was forced to cut short his stint in Super League with Wigan, who agreed to release him 12 months into his three-year contract after being told he needs to undergo hip resurfacing surgery.
It is the same operation three-time grand slam champion Murray had just over two years ago and Burgess has keenly monitored the Scot’s progress ever since.
“He got back to top-flight tennis and he’s doing pretty well now,” Burgess said.
“That’s encouraging. He pushed it really hard at the start to race the clock, which is something I really don’t want to do.
“He got a few problems from it and that’s another reason I’d rather give it a good amount of time. He’s had 18 months now and he’s started to come good.”
Still only 28, Burgess has also taken advice from former St Helens fullback Paul Wellens and Ireland and British and Irish Lions forward Sean O’Brien, who both had successful hip resurfacing surgery.
“It might be something that propels me for another few years in my career, you never know,” said Burgess.
“I still haven’t closed the door on playing again but until I get that surgery it’s hard to gauge how it’s going to feel.
“You’ve got to put it to the back of your mind and address it in 12 months’ time.”
By then, Burgess is hoping to have made further inroads into a fledgling acting career.
“I really got into it maybe three years ago, doing little bits here and there. I got a good part in a feature film called Locusts where I played a bouncer called Ivan and really enjoyed it,” he said.
“It sort of lit a fuse and I got chance to play a part in a big feature film at Fox Studios before I came to England. It’s a movie called Ascendant which is just coming out now.
“I play a Russian heavy, not a lot of talking, more of a physical role which was cool.
“Moving over here, I had plans to do more but it’s been hard for that sector through the pandemic. Hopefully I can continue with some more at the end of this year in Sydney.”
George has also started a fashion business with twin Tom and older brothers Sam and Luke, who are exploring the idea of setting up training camps for youngsters.
If all that sounds like retirement, Burgess has a word of warning for those writing off his rugby league career.
“You never know,” he said. “It’s not finished until it’s finished. There could be another chapter in Super League before the story is finished.”