«I’m keeping it to the all-in [a press conference-style interview] today,» he politely said when asked for a chat.
When asked how he was doing and if he and Phoebe were back together, he shook his head and said, «I’m not talking about that today.»
The 6ft 4in Englishman avoided speaking about his personal life by only taking sports-related questions during his six-minute conference, but he did make a subtle dig at the three months of intense media attention on his high-profile break-up and alleged make-up with wife of three years, Phoebe Burgess.
When asked about NRL players’ behaviour outside the game, Burgess was vocal about «negative press» and spoke about rugby league’s «good men».
«I have been in the game quite a while now and I know there has been some terrible coverage in the press, but player behaviour has probably been as good as I’ve seen it over the years,» he said. «It’s just more reported on these days. Things catch fire a lot quicker.
«For all of the negative press out there, there are some fantastic role models, some great players and good people, good men and good young guys.»
In December, Sam reportedly moved out of the $3.8 million Maroubra home he shared with Phoebe and their children Poppy, 2, and Billy, 11 weeks, and had been seeking solace at his good friend Anthony Bell’s $11.5 million Dover Heights mansion.
Over recent weeks, the pair have been spending more and more time together, with Phoebe attending his game against the Penrith Panthers last weekend and posting about it on Instagram. However, neither have confirmed a reconciliation.
Amy Croffey is an entertainment reporter at The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age