England rugby union international Sam Burgess has left Premiership club Bath with immediate effect in order to return to rugby league side South Sydney Rabbitohs, the BBC reported Thursday.
The 26-year-old Burgess had two years left on a three-year deal with west country side Bath.
Burgess was a member of the England squad that recently became the first World Cup host nation to exit the tournament in the group stages, with coach Stuart Lancaster criticised for what many saw as the overly rapid promotion of the Bath man into the Test side.
It was only last year, after helping South Sydney win the Australian NRL Grand Final, that Burgess changed codes with the express ambition of playing for England at the World Cup.
If confirmed, the end of his brief spell in union is likely to prove embarrassing for both Bath and Lancaster, whose position as England coach is currently being scrutinised as part of a Rugby Football Union review into England’s woeful World Cup campaign.