Key to Sam Burgess case is 17,000km away

 

The man who holds the key to the Sam Burgess police and integrity unit investigation is 17,000km away in the north of England.

Investigators want to interview Jason Clark, Burgess' former Rabbitohs teammate and close friend, who is now playing for Warrington in the UK Super League.

His interviews will be done via Zoom over the next few days.

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Clark has not returned emails from The Daily Telegraph requesting his version of events from the day Burgess's ex-wife Phoebe rang him while she claims her ex-husband was in a drug-fuelled state. Burgess has denied all the allegations against him.

But Clark's manager Steve Gillis says the veteran forward will co-operate with investigators.

Anyone who has met the 31-year-old knows he's the straightest, most decent person and a total cleanskin.

This is why Phoebe turned to him.

In a statement to police, Phoebe said she rang Clark and said: "Please come and help me, I'm so scared."

When Clark arrived, he and Burgess's mother Julie went with Sam into the basement to reduce the risk of neighbours hearing the commotion.

He stayed until the situation had calmed.

Sam Burgess is facing serious allegations.
Sam Burgess is facing serious allegations.

 

Former South Sydney Rabbitohs player Jason Clark.
Former South Sydney Rabbitohs player Jason Clark.


Burgess has spent the weekend with his lawyers and will vigorously defend the allegations.

The Clark interview will be the key to any suggestions of a cover-up at the Rabbitohs.

He will be asked if he spoke to any officials or the head coach at the Rabbitohs about what he had seen.

This is such a big part of the story.

Jason Clark (centre) is key to the case of Sam Burgess (right). Picture: Mark Evans
Jason Clark (centre) is key to the case of Sam Burgess (right). Picture: Mark Evans


Rabbitohs CEO Blake Solly says he knew nothing about it until reporters from The Australian newspaper rang last week.

Whatever happens, these latest very serious allegations of Burgess's behaviour should finally be the wake-up call for the Rabbitohs.

Without taking aim at any of the players who took the field against the Knights on Sunday, there has been a culture problem of lies and misbehaviour at this club for a long period of time.

It started out with John Sutton's sacking as captain over an incident with Luke Burgess on an off-season training camp in the US in 2014.

In 2015 Dylan Walker and Aaron Gray were admitted to hospital for prescription drug overdoses that almost killed them.

Souths players Dylan Walker and Aaron Gray almost died of drug overdoses.
Souths players Dylan Walker and Aaron Gray almost died of drug overdoses.


Then, at one stage in 2018 the NRL integrity unit was working on at least three separate cases with the Rabbitohs.

Greg Inglis and his drink driving.

South Sydney Rabbitohs captain Greg Inglis speaks to the media during a press conference at Redfern Oval on October 2, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. Inglis was charged with a drink driving offence.
South Sydney Rabbitohs captain Greg Inglis speaks to the media during a press conference at Redfern Oval on October 2, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. Inglis was charged with a drink driving offence.


Burgess' lewd photos on Facetime and an alleged affair with a woman in Melbourne.

More recently there was Cody Walker's involvement in a street brawl during the off-season that coach Wayne Bennett openly admitted to covering up.

Then James Robert had a stint in rehab.

This has been hugely damaging to the entire game, not just the Rabbitohs.

Originally published as Key to Sam Burgess case is 17,000km away



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