18th May 2019, 08:49 | englandrl
History will be made this weekend as six Englishman do battle in the same game Down Under, for the first time ever.
Burgess brothers – Sam, Tom and George – will play for South Sydney Rabbitohs as they face Canberra Raiders who will boast Josh Hodgson, Elliot Whitehead and Ryan Sutton in their ranks. The Rabbitohs will also be coached by current England boss Wayne Bennett.
The Burgess trio have become regulars during their time over in Australia while Hodgson and Whitehead are now in their fifth and fourth season in the NRL, respectively. Sutton is the newest comer having joined the Raiders in the off-season from Super League champions Wigan Warriors.
Previously the record for the most Englishmen in an Australian league fixture was five. This was set in 1976 when Bill Ashurst, Mike Stephenson and Dave Topliss represented Penrith against Steve Norton and Phil Lowe’s Manly side.
It was equalled 13 years later in a game between Easts – now known as Sydney Roosters – and Western Suburb Magpies. Martin Offiah and Joe Lydon ran out for Easts against the trio of Ellery Hanley, Gary Schofield and Kelvin Skerrett.
The record could have been surpassed further this weekend had John Bateman – who joined Canberra from Wigan at the end of the 2018 – not picked up a facial injury a fortnight ago. However, this does potentially leave the record to be broken once more later in the season should the sides meet in the play-offs.
Of course, the Burgess brothers are accustomed to making history as the trio alongside older brother Luke became the first four brothers to play in the same game for more than a century.
South Sydney currently sit 3rdin the NRL table however a win over Canberra would put them clear at the top. The Raiders will be looking for a victory to strengthen their position in the top four and close the gap on the pacesetters to just two points.
You can see the ‘Battle of Britain’ live on Sky Sports Main Event from 10:30am.