SAS Australia’s Sam Burgess breaks down after detailing his affair

·Lifestyle & Entertainment producer
·3-min read

Former NRL star Sam Burgess was extremely emotional when detailing the breakdown of his four-year marriage to ex-wife Phoebe during the premiere of SAS Australia.

The 32-year-old, who is referred to as ‘Number 16’ on the series, confessed that he had been unfaithful during their relationship in an intense interrogation with the show’s instructors.

Sam Burgess on SAS Australia.
Sam admitted that he had been unfaithful to his ex-wife Phoebe. Photo: Channel 7

Monday night’s episode saw the 18 recruits each getting teargassed, with the instructors saying that Sam had one of the worst reactions after he immediately started coughing and spitting on the floor.

In the interrogation room, Chief Instructor Ant Middleton aimed to find out more about the ex-South Sydney Rabbitohs player by digging “so far into his soul”.


After discussing his debilitating shoulder injury that lead to the end of his rugby league career, Sam opened up about his relationship with Phoebe.

“Two days after I retired, I separated from my marriage,” he said.

“Oh f**k me. So you hit it hard then,” Ant responded.

Ant Middleton on SAS Australia.
Chief Instructor Ant Middleton asked Sam all the tough questions. Photo: Channel 7

Sam went on to say that he doesn’t think he was “the greatest husband at times” and spoke about his extramarital affair.

“I embarrassed my wife,” he declared. “I had an affair with a woman in Melbourne, it’s true. I was away on tour and regretfully that happened, which would have been a tough place for Phoebe to be.”

Ant then grilled Number 16 about what happened after his marriage breakdown and if he went down the “path of destruction”.

“I’m not great with managing emotional stuff,” he replied. “Anything to do with my team, myself, stress outside football I can manage it no worries. Press, I don’t mind about that.

“But when it came to emotional stuff like losing my kids, not seeing my kids every day, my marriage breakdown and that put pressure on my ex-wife. I didn’t like that.

“I hated that I caused pain for other people that I couldn’t manage.”

Sam Burgess on SAS Australia.
Sam said he hoped SAS would help him see deeper inside himself. Photo: Channel 7

“I turned to drinking, taking drugs, I thought I could manage that,” he continued. “Then got pulled [up on a] DUI with drugs in my system, which was all over the press again, which stopped me seeing my kids again. I just checked myself into rehab.”

Leaving the interrogation room, Sam said he hoped that his SAS Australia experience would help him “see a bit deeper inside myself”.

"I have this theory of life that it’s peaks and valleys and it’s ups and downs. Sometimes you don't know when the peaks are at the top and you don't know how far the valley might go.

“Maybe this could be the start of me climbing my way out of the valley.”

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