Sam Burgess voted the best League player in the world

ENGLISHMAN Sam Burgess has added the International Player of the Year award to his Clive Churchill medal and NRL premiership ring, completing an amazing rugby league farewell fairytale.

Burgess, who carved his name in rugby league folklore by playing 79 minutes of this month's NRL grand final with a fractured cheekbone, became the first Englishman to capture the top player gong in its seven-year history.

It was an English quinella with Burgess's fierce rival and Bulldogs enforcer James Graham runner-up, just ahead of 2014 joint Dally M medal winners Johnathan Thurston and Jarryd Hayne.

Unfortunately, like two of the previous winners in Hayne (2009) and Sonny Bill Williams (2013), Burgess has left the game and will head to the UK next week to start a new career playing rugby union for Bath.

"I'm quite jealous I'm not part of it (Four Nations), to be honest, seeing all the England boys and everyone in camp," said the 25-year-old who had four plates and several screws put in his face to repair his fractured right cheek following the grand final.

"I had a cracking five years playing in the NRL, and I've got a lot of great memories including the grand final win which is what I came here to do."

Burgess did not rule out returning to the NRL, and said he was a lifetime South Sydney player.


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