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Page last updated at 17:04 GMT, Thursday, 2 April 2009 18:04 UK

Sam Burgess Q&A

Bradford's Sam Burgess

The Carnegie Challenge Cup fourth round takes place this weekend, with the Super League clubs entering the fray at this stage of the competition.

Bradford face a trip to the Catalans Dragons on Sunday, in a game shown live on BBC Two and the BBC Sport website from 1415 BST.

That's followed by the mouth-watering clash between Leeds and holders St Helens, which can also be seen on BBC Two and the Sport website from 1620 BST.

Ahead of the double-header on BBC TV, we gave you the chance to put your questions to Bulls and Great Britain forward Sam Burgess. Thanks to all those who sent some in. Sam answers the best below.


How disappointed were you to miss out on the World Cup?
Josh, Wigan

It was very disappointing to miss out on competing for England on a big stage. It would have been good fun and a great experience but missing it allowed me to have a full pre-season with Bradford to get me into good shape and start the season off well.

Are you excited at the potential front row of yourself, James Graham and James Roby for the future of the national side?
Micah, London

Having missed the last international series, I know I will need some good form to get back into the squad. England underachieved at the World Cup and I know a lot of the players who were involved then will want to put it right next time, so it will be tough to get places in the squad. But it would be good to play for my country again.

When you were injured how easy was it to sit and watch your brother play, and what did you do to occupy your time?
Joanne Hart, Llanhilleth, South Wales

It was difficult at the end of the season watching Bradford playing and not being part of it. I don't tend to watch my brother play that much because he is a Leeds player and I don't watch Leeds that much! After my operation, I couldn't do too much for the first six weeks of rehab, apart from trying to get my arm back moving. However, after that I did manage to get away to Australia for five weeks at the end of the season and saw England play Papua New Guinea in the World Cup and then came home to start pre-season with Bradford.

Which team did you support as a child and who was your favourite player?
Dan Kilshaw, Wigan

When I was a lot younger it was the Halifax Blue Sox but then Bradford. I used to love watching Andy Farrell, who was a great leader and a fantastic player.

From rugby league players past and present, who would you least like to go head to head with?
Jonny Wilson, Bradford

Gorden Tallis goes on the rampage
Tallis was nicknamed the Raging Bull

Probably the former Australia and Brisbane second-rower Gorden Tallis, who was a tough cookie, and Andy Farrell because he is so skilful - I'd rather play with him than against him!

Who is the toughest player you have played against in Super League?
Danny, Wigan

I should say my brother, Luke, but Trent Barrett was tough to play against last season when he was with Wigan because he was such a smart player and strong with the ball. Then there are people like Jamie Peacock and Adrian Morley.

What do you feel like after taking a big hit?
Jacob, Queensbury, Bradford

I took one at last weekend against Castleford. It didn't look big but someone hit me under my stomach and it felt like my belly had been mixed about inside. It's a tough feeling, but I enjoy the physical side of the game. Taking and giving the big hits is all part of it.

What was the feeling you had on your Bradford debut?
Scott Crowley, Littleborough

It was a game against Leeds in July 2006 and I was 18th man. But someone pulled out through injury on the morning of the game, so I got a phone call from Steve McNamara telling me I was playing. I didn't have too much time to think about, but I remember going out for the warm-up. I was used to warming up with players my own age, but them I looked over and saw Keith Senior, Jamie Peacock, Danny McGuire and Rob Burrow. I wasn't scared, more looking forward to it, and I got 25 minutes in the game.

Who in your opinion is the most consistent forward in Super League in the last three seasons and who is your choice of the most underestimated forward?
Danny Wray, East Hull

It's hard to single one person out - Adrian Morley, Jamie Peacock, James Graham and Gareth Ellis all come to mind as the most consistent. Andy Lynch is a real unsung hero for Bradford. He does a lot of work and has a lot of skill and tends not to get recognised for that as much.

Which winner's medal would you most like to win in your career?
Paul, Wakefield

I'd like to win them all, but I think the Challenge Cup is a special one to win, especially to do it at Wembley, which would be a real achievement.

Do you or any of your team-mates have any superstitions?
Tom Harrison, York

A few guys read passages from the Bible before games, others walk around in their underpants until 10 minutes before the game, but I'm not naming names on that one! I just try to keep to the same diet the night before and on game day, and retain the same sleeping patterns before games.

Which of your team-mates would you most and least like to be stuck on a desert island with?
Nick, London

I would least like to be stuck with Terry Newton or Nick Scruton. Terry is a prankster and would be winding me up all day while Nick is just a scruff and I couldn't hang about with him! The best would be Wayne Godwin, who is out injured at the moment. I spent five weeks in Australia last year with him and I never stopped smiling.

Carnegie Challenge Cup
Burgess would love to get his hands on the Carnegie Challenge Cup

You aren't a small fella - how much do you eat in a day and what's normally on the menu for a Super League player?
Barry Griffter, Bradford

I love my food and I eat a lot. I start with a big breakfast of a few poached eggs and some toast, followed by fruit. Then some pasta and chicken for lunch and some chicken at tea. In between, I might have fruit or a sandwich. We have a few rules and regulations and try to stay away from things like chips and pizza.

What sort of gym workouts do you do and how much can you bench press?
Ricky, Gainsborough

Since having my shoulder operation, I don't do much bench press anymore, so maybe around 80kg. Our gym workouts are varied - upper body and leg sessions with some power exercises. The conditioners work on making sure we utilise different muscle groups because during a game we use so many parts of the body.

When you are tiring and hurting from workouts, what do you use to spur you on to continue?
Marty, Rochdale

There is always a good buzz around the rest of the team and having them around helps to encourage you and take your mind off the pain.

How does it feel at the moment when you go close in games but not picking up results? Are the Bulls worried that they won't make the play-offs. As a player, are you worried that your form has been affected?
Gareth, Wigan

I'm not worried about the play-offs yet because it is still early in the season and plenty of time to go. We are disappointed because, apart from the Wigan game, we lost narrowly to Huddersfield and Castleford and drew with Hull KR. It is frustrating to lose those close games and we have no excuses because we had chances to win. Sunday is a big game in a different competition, so hopefully if we play to our strengths and for the full 80 minutes we'll take the pressure off us. We aren't far away and we are trying our best to put things right.

Would you ever consider leaving Bradford to play for a club such as Leeds or St Helens or possibly even look into playing in Australia?
Luke Handley, Leeds

Bradford are a big club and I'm just concentrating on playing with them at the moment. Playing in Australia is something I might be interested in further down the line. We'll see what's happening in England and my family at the time. I've got a lot of time left in rugby, so we'll see what happens.

Rugby League is my favourite sport with rugby union well down the list! I have a big worry that top rugby league players (like yourself) will defect to it! Should I worry or is this just a phase?
Chris Forster, Cas

It is definitely something rugby league as a sport should be worried about. We've had players go over and I'm sure there will be more in the next couple of seasons. Someone should look into the possibility central contracts between the RFL and players they want to keep in the sport. I can understand why fans are asking the question but it is something that is over my head. I played a little bit of rugby union when I was younger but I'm definitely on the side of league.



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see also
Super League Show
17 Feb 08 |  Rugby League
Burgess set to make Bulls return
13 Jan 09 |  Bradford
Burgess to miss rest of campaign
31 Jul 08 |  Bradford
Burgess set to sit out World Cup
20 Jul 08 |  Bradford
Burgess agrees new Bradford deal
26 Jun 08 |  Bradford
Burgess looks to build on success
30 Apr 08 |  Bradford


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