Sydney - Sam Burgess arrived back in Australia on Wednesday to resume his National Rugby League career with South Sydney Rabbitohs after an unsuccessful 12-month switch to rugby union in his native England, admitting "deep down ... my heart lies in rugby league."
Burgess moved to Bath late last year and played for England at the Rugby World Cup, where the hosts didn't make it past the pool stage. Last week, he announced he was returning to Souths, where he helped the team win the NRL title in 2014.
The 26-year-old Burgess said in his time in the 15-a-side code, he learned a lot about himself as a player.
"It is different training to what I've done in the backline and as a forward in rugby union, so I think it improves me as an athlete all round," Burgess said. "I enjoyed the sport but deep down rugby league gave me something different to rugby union.
"It's not a mock of rugby union at all, because I certainly respect what the players go through, but personally I just play with passion and heart, so the sooner I got back it was probably the best."
Burgess said he always felt like a rugby league player in the rival code.
"I was always a league player in union, I don't think that ever changes," he said. "I felt really comfortable in the environment, but it's just the perception, how you're portrayed by the media and whatever."
Burgess signed a three-year contract with Souths beginning next year. He said he never considered going to another NRL club and that he wanted to commit to the team "for a long time."
"I would find it very hard to put a different shirt on," he said.