Burgess brothers could make history
England coach Steve McNamara will be among the fascinated television spectators when the Burgess brothers attempt to make history in Sydney on Friday.
Dewsbury-born England forward Sam Burgess is set to play alongside older brother Luke and twins Tom and George for the first time when South Sydney meet Wests Tigers at Allianz Stadium.
They have all been named in coach Michael Maguire's 19-man squad and are expected to become the first set of four brothers to line up in the same Australian side since 1910 when Ray, Roy, Rex and Bernard Norman all turned out for the defunct Annandale club.
"I have watched most weekends this year and it's been intriguing watching them all play and produce some good form," said McNamara.
"If all four brothers make the 17, it will be a pretty momentous occasion for all concerned."
Ex-Bradford prop Sam, one of the stand-out players in the NRL over the last two years, and former Leeds front rower Luke have been named in Souths' starting line-up, with twins George and Tom on an extended bench.
Sam and George look certain to be included in McNamara's World Cup squad after hugely impressive campaigns so far this year while McNamara admits it is not beyond the realms of possibility that they could be joined by Tom and Luke.
"If they are all playing for South Sydney and they go on a charge and make the Grand Final, they would obviously be in very good form," the national coach said.
"It's not definitely going to happen - playing in the NRL does not mean they have a God-given right to be picked - but I wouldn't rule it out."
McNamara coached Sam during his spell in charge of Bradford when George and Tom were coming through the juniors and he says there was almost a reunion of the brothers at Odsal.
"I actually did inquire about Luke when he was struggling to get into the Leeds team but nothing came of it," he said.