Sam Burgess’ coaching contract with the Orara Valley Axemen has been revealed and the former premiership winner is being paid $7… a fortnight.
The 33-year-old, who is working towards an off-field career following his retirement in 2015, has been leading the Group 2 team, receiving a pie and a soft drink at each home game for his efforts.
Along with his traditional Australian meal, Burgess is also handed ground entry passes, one club polo shirt, one training kit and two tickets to mandatory club functions.
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Burgess receives no financial payments from the club in a humbling start to his post-match footy dreams.
As it stands, the former English international has a huge decision to make — join the Rabbitohs’ coaching staff or work as an assistant under Wayne Bennett at the Dolphins in 2023.
But for now, Burgess is content with helping the Axemen, who returned to Group 2 rugby league after a two-year absence.
The man who played 80 minutes in a grand final with a shattered cheekbone has also found success on the North Coast of New South Wales, leading his side to seven wins in eight games.
“On my contract, it states a Garlo’s Pie and a soft drink. I’m serious, I’m not getting paid to be here. I’m here because I love the game. We’re making a difference, that’s the main thing,” Burgess said to The Daily Telegraph.
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“To be fair, I go to the canteen after every home game and get a Garlo’s pie, they are our major sponsor.
“And we’re doing really well on the field. There are some big efforts from our players, we’re hanging in there. There is a bit of spirit in the place, which is good.
“I love the coaching side. I’m really enjoying it. When you see people improve, see people change, and when you start to see someone believe in themselves, it’s great, mate.”
Burgess will make his decision regarding his future within the next fortnight, with Rabbitohs powerbrokers reportedly confident that the hulking forward will make a return to Redfern.
Meanwhile, Orara Valley Axemen president Peter Spinks revealed Burgess had been negotiating an increase to his modest contract.
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“But it’s only for home games. Sam keeps trying to ‘up’ it to two pies,” Spinks said.
“I told Sam he was starting at the bottom, not at the top. You have to start somewhere and you can work your way up. But he takes his role seriously, genuinely seriously. He’s a true club coach, he’s across everything.
“He gets down to the ground and helps put up sponsor signs. He even got Wayne Bennett, when Wayne came here the other week, out there putting up signs.”