Rusty added: “Sam Burgess has carved his name deep in the history of South Sydney.
“Week in week out during the entire time he has been with the Rabbitohs, Sam has led by example and instilled belief in the players around him ...
“I’m quite sure anyone who witnessed the grand final on October 5, 2014, will never forget the heroism and determination on display.
“This transition into retirement for Sam has come a lot earlier than we had expected and planned around.”
In a club statement, Sam also made special mention of the Gladiator actor: “To Russell - for making all this happen initially - I’ll be forever indebted to you. Your passion is infectious."
It comes as the NRL golden boy was charged with intimidation after an alleged row with his estranged wife Phoebe's father.
Sam was issued with a temporary apprehended violence order on Saturday, October 19, after a clash with Mitchell Hooke in Bowral. The Daily Telegraph revealed on Wednesday that the AVO was upheld.
Sam is thought to have been visiting his children, two-year-old Poppy and 10-month-old Billy, who are believed to have relocated to Bowral with their mother Phoebe after their split.
A police statement about the incident read: “About 4pm on Saturday 19 October 2019, police were called to an address at Glenquarry, east of Bowral, in relation to a domestic dispute,” police said in a statement.
“Police from The Hume Police District attended and an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order was applied for on behalf of a 63-year-old man.
“Following further inquiries, on Wednesday 30 October 2019, a 30-year-old man was charged with the offence of Intimidation (DV related).
“It’s alleged the man intimidated the older man during the incident.”
It hasn't been a good few weeks for Sam. This week, he was romantically linked with Married At First Sight star Jessika Power, but she has since, sort of, denied those rumours.
On Sunday, leaked footage showed Sam partying on a yacht in Cabo, Mexico, with a bikini-clad woman on his shoulders - despite his shoulder injury. He was there to celebrate the 50th birthday of NRL star Sean Garlick with his brother and fellow rugby player, Luke Burgess.
New Idea has asked Sam Burgess for comment.