It is understood that Burgess has claimed the lewd photos and video chat were consensually shared, in which several Souths players exposed themselves to an anonymous woman via Burgess’ Facebook messenger account.
Pressure is mounting for the NRL and the Rabbitohs to take action against Burgess, with Roosters fans especially petitioning for the star forward to be stood down.
South Sydney have designated a five-person panel to investigate the claims, appointing NRL investigator Karyn Murphy to ensure the matter is dealt with expediently and in an unbiased manner.
But with truth of the issue unclear and disputed, it is unlikely that a decision will be reached before Saturday night’s preliminary final at Allianz Stadium, meaning that Burgess will likely play.
The Souths coaching staff gave Burgess the opportunity to rule himself out of the Rabbitoh’s intense semi-final victory against the Dragons but he elected to take the field.
This sexting scandal comes just a few weeks after the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs were handed a $250,000 sanction for their Mad Monday behaviour, in a final series which has been largely overshadowed by condemning off-field incidents.