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Australia Sam Burgess's family continues to rally around him amid crisis

08:05  15 october  2020
08:05  15 october  2020 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

Sam Burgess' ex-teammate who could be the key witness in police probe

  Sam Burgess' ex-teammate who could be the key witness in police probe Jason Clark, a former South Sydney Rabbitohs teammate of Burgess', is expected to be a key witness in a police probe into accusation Sam Burgess' marriage to ex-wife Phoebe.Jason Clark, a former South Sydney Rabbitohs teammate of Burgess', could be a key witness in the police investigation into accusation about the superstar forward's marriage and supposed excessive partying ways.

The family of embattled NRL star Sam Burgess continues to rally around him , with his brother Luke and niece Grace joining him at an early morning training session. Sam , 31, has kept a low profile in recent weeks after bombshell allegations about his marriage and partying ways were published in The

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Sam Burgess, Luke Burgess, Sam Burgess posing for a photo: MailOnline logo © Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo

The family of embattled NRL star Sam Burgess continues to rally around him, with his brother Luke and niece Grace joining him at an early morning training session.

Sam, 31, has kept a low profile in recent weeks after bombshell allegations about his marriage and partying ways were published in The Australian newspaper.

The father-of-two was joined by Luke and his daughter Grace at Air Locker Training in Bondi on Thursday morning, before his brother shared a happy snap to his Instagram afterwards.

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Sam has been living with Luke, the oldest of the four Burgess brothers, since he and wife Phoebe sold the Maroubra mansion where they lived during their marriage.

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Luke's girlfriend Tori May was among those to comment, telling the towering Burgess brothers they were being shown up by their daughter and niece.

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Since news of her split from husband Sam Burgess broke last week, Phoebe Burgess has remained at her parents' home in Bowral with her children. 'Her support network is in Bowral': Phoebe Burgess 'set to leave Maroubra mansion and move to the Southern Highlands' after 'second split' from NRL

'Gracey girl showing you boys how it's done,' she wrote.

Friends and South Sydney fans were also among those to leave well wishes.

Just days earlier the retired South Sydney Rabbitohs legend had watched his former team win a key elimination final alongside mum Julie, the Burgess family matriarch.

Mrs Burgess shared a photo of the pair on Saturday night of her smiling and hugging her son, with the Rabbitohs having just beaten the Parramatta Eels 38-24.

'Soooooooooo happy,' Mrs Burgess captioned the photo.

Earlier in the night she wrote 'let's go Rabbitohs' and 'love our team' as the pair watched Sam's younger brother Tom help his team secure a hard-fought win.

The blissful photo comes after an article in The Australian newspaper last week, which contained bombshell accusations about Burgess' behaviour towards his ex-wife Phoebe and claims of excessive partying.

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The claims have sparked an NRL Integrity Unit investigation as well as the launching of a police strike force, while Burgess has stood down from his off-field coaching role with the Rabbitohs and commentary role with Fox Sports.

Burgess's media lawyer Mark O'Brien has said: 'The allegations are false and constitute an indefensible defamation against my client.

'It is apparent sources of the false allegations are those currently in dispute with my client over various issues.'

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It comes after Burgess was hit with an apprehended violence order taken out by police on behalf of his ex-wife Phoebe's father Mitchell Hooke after an alleged confrontation between the pair last October.

He has pleaded not guilty to intimidating his 63-year-old father-in-law, who he is banned from approaching or contacting.

Burgess's lawyer Bryan Wrench suggested Phoebe Burgess or her father Mitchell Hooke might have committed contempt of court by co-operating with the media.

Mr Wrench raised his concerns during the mention of an apprehended violence order involving the South Sydney Rabbitohs legend at Moss Vale Local Court on Wednesday.

He said Phoebe Burgess had made a 50-page statement to police about her ex-husband which had never been seen by him but which appeared in The Australian newspaper.

'To be quite blunt, it appears that this is born out of either malice or retaliation,' Mr Wrench told the court.

The NRL's integrity unit has commenced an inquiry into the allegations raised by The Australian and the New South Wales Police Force has formed Strike Force Irrabella to investigate.

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Staff members at Souths have also been accused of ignoring Burgess's alleged indiscretions.

Among the major allegations were claims about an incident inside the Burgess home at Maroubra, in Sydney's east, in November 2018 when the father-of-two was behaving erratically.

A former teammate of Burgess is due to be questioned by police over Zoom this week from the UK, where he is playing in the English Super League.

Jason Clark was the person Phoebe Burgess turned to during the 2018 incident with Sam at their home, The Australian reported.

Evidence Clark gives to police could form a key part of the investigation into Burgess and South Sydney, as well as the team's medical staff.

Clark had attended the couple's house along with Burgess' mother Julie, who had brought Sam and older brother Luke home from a city hotel.

Mr Hooke and his wife Sarah were also reportedly at the house.

Detectives have already interviewed Phoebe and visited several relevant locations, including an underground car park where Burgess allegedly received medical treatment.

Sam Burgess on social media for the first time since allegations

  Sam Burgess on social media for the first time since allegations Sam Burgess has made his first post to social media since bombshell allegations about his private life emerged in recent weeks. The former South Sydney Rabbitohs NRL player posed beside his two children in a photo shared to Instagram on Monday. The 31-year-old appeared relaxed and happy in the photograph as he held hands with daughter Poppy, three, and son Billy, one.

A pharmacy linked to the club's doctor Andrew McDonald has also reportedly been visited by police.

Souths co-owner, Hollywood star Russell Crowe, could be called to give evidence before the NRL inquiry.

Burgess has been holed-up at his home in Coogee, in Sydney's east, since the allegations were published.

He has been left 'devastated' by the accusations against him, a close friend told The Daily Telegraph.

Sam Burgess holding a football ball: Burgess at a Rabbitohs training session in Canberra in September 2019. A source close to him said he has been left devastated by the allegations © Provided by Daily Mail Burgess at a Rabbitohs training session in Canberra in September 2019. A source close to him said he has been left devastated by the allegations

WHO ARE THE BURGESS FAMILY?

JULIE: A former high school deputy headmaster, the matriarch of the family is renowned for defending her four boys, always. She followed her sons to Australia in 2012 after they had established careers with South Sydney

MARK: The boys' father died in 2007 at age 45 after a long battle with motor neurone disease. While their towering height comes from Julie, Mark is credited for giving the boys their brawn and toughness.

LUKE: The oldest of the four boys, he is known to his brothers as 'Biffa'. Luke moved to Australia in 2011 to play for South Sydney. He began dating model Yolanda Hodgson and the couple have a daughter Grace, but split in 2019.

SAM: The first of the family to make the move to Sydney, he quickly became a key part of the Rabbitohs outfit. After a few years together he married Phoebe Hooke in 2015, before their public split in late 2018. They have two children, Poppy and Billy.

TOM: Tom and his twin brother George are the youngest members of the family. He was the last of the family to move to Australia in 2011. He is engaged to Tahlia Giumelli and the couple are currently expecting a second child.

GEORGE: The 28-year-old has returned to England to play in the Super League having married wife Joanna in 2016. The couple have three children under the age of three.

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  Long-running film franchises we love Film franchises: love 'em, or hate 'em? Well the truth is, a large percentage of filmgoers absolutely adore them. This can be said of 'Jurassic Park,' although many fans would say they prefer the originals. Well what if they didn't have to choose? Or, more accurately, what if they could get a bit of the old with the new? For a walk down memory lane and to revisit other film series, click through the gallery and get to know the longest-running movie franchises in cinematic history.

Tom Burgess, Sam Burgess posing for the camera: Tom, George, Luke and Sam Burgess stand on either side of their mother Julie after their first appearance in first grade together in 2013 © Provided by Daily Mail Tom, George, Luke and Sam Burgess stand on either side of their mother Julie after their first appearance in first grade together in 2013

'He is angry and feels like he doesn't have a voice,' the friend said.

'[The allegations are] something that is abhorrent to him, which makes it all the more harder to stomach.'

Burgess retired last October after a spate of injuries but stayed at the club, where he has been working as a development coach.

Souths CEO Mr Solly has said he knew nothing of the allegations made by The Australian until being contacted by journalists.

Club coach Wayne Bennett said was also unaware of the allegations.

'I've been here since 2018 and I knew nothing about it until I'd been told in the last 24 hours,' Bennett said.

Sam Burgess wearing a suit and tie: Burgess and ex-wife Phoebe during happier times at the 2016 Dally M awards in Sydney © Provided by Daily Mail Burgess and ex-wife Phoebe during happier times at the 2016 Dally M awards in Sydney Sam Burgess et al. posing for the camera: Burgess (pictured with ex-wife Phoebe) has stepped down from his coaching role at Souths and denied all allegations © Provided by Daily Mail Burgess (pictured with ex-wife Phoebe) has stepped down from his coaching role at Souths and denied all allegations

'I have never had a player or any staff member talk to me about it in any shape or form.

'They are allegations. When we get all the facts together and see this at the end of the day, we will take another position on it and make another statement.'

Ms Burgess remains with her family in Bowral, caring for the two young children she shares with Burgess.

Her manager Sharon Finnigan said: 'Phoebe is trying to get by and manage and care for her two children… She is doing her best as a single mother.'

The former couple married at Phoebe's parents home in December 2015 and separated in December 2018, weeks after the birth of their son Billy.

The couple had rekindled their relationship by April 2019 but split again last October.

Their divorce was finalised in April. They also have an older daughter, Poppy.

Read more

Long-running film franchises we love .
Film franchises: love 'em, or hate 'em? Well the truth is, a large percentage of filmgoers absolutely adore them. This can be said of 'Jurassic Park,' although many fans would say they prefer the originals. Well what if they didn't have to choose? Or, more accurately, what if they could get a bit of the old with the new? For a walk down memory lane and to revisit other film series, click through the gallery and get to know the longest-running movie franchises in cinematic history.

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