Englishman Sam Burgess is taking the road less travelled in his bid to join the NRL coaching world, following the revelation that he's carrying out his bush footy commitments for next to nothing.
The Daily Telegraph has revealed that within Burgess' Orara Valley coaching contract, the only payment included is “1 x Garlo’s Pie (flavour of choice) and 1 x soft drink (flavour of choice) at the completion of each home game regardless of result."
A premiership-winner who once played 80 minutes with a fractured cheekbone and eye socket, the barnstorming Englishman is leading Orara Valley to a minor premiership for no more than a tradie's servo lunch, once a fortnight.
Throw in the club polo and training kit, and Burgess' earnings are monumentally less than the near seven figures he'd earn a year in the NRL by the time his third-party commitments came around. While his playing days are done, it doesn't mean his time in the NRL is over yet.
The forward is currently in the midst of a tug-a-war between two clubs, with Wayne Bennett chasing the hardman as an assistant while South Sydney are trying to welcome Burgess back into the fold at the same time.
Sam's younger brother Tom, who brought up his 200th NRL game last start, is the last Burgess standing at Redfern, something that could draw him away from his free Garlo's pie and can of coke, and towards one more shot of glory.
Orara Valley club president Peter Spinks said that not only has Sam been tremendous for the players and the fans alike, but has also had some high-profile figures running errands for him.
“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" Spinks told the Telegraph.
Burgess hopes to have his future sorted within the fortnight, though his focus will remain on guiding the Orara Valley Axemen to the promise land, currently leading the comp with seven wins from eight matches.
Regardless of how the Axemen finish the season, there isn't enough free Beef and Pepper pies and cans of Pasito in NSW's mid-north coast to sway Burgess away from a return to the NRL.