6 Mar 2014

SBW and Burgess to set NRL season start alight

8:42 am on 6 March 2014

Sadly it serves to highlight what league will be missing next year, but all the talk in the lead-up to tonight's NRL season opener between the defending champion Roosters and the South Sydney Rabbitohs is about the titanic clash between Sonny Bill Williams and Sam Burgess.

Even amongst the players.

The two regular-season clashes between the bitter arch-rivals set crowd and television ratings records last year, mainly on the back of the star duo's pulling power.

Both clubs possess star-studded line-ups but even the NRL's second rower of the year the Roosters Boyd Cordner, who believes Souths will be the team to beat in 2014, admits the other players are keen to see Williams and Burgess lock horns again.

Williams and Burgess will defect to rugby union at season's end to join fellow superstars Israel Folau and Benji Marshall in the ranks of the departed to the 15-man code.