SAS star Sam Burgess reveals shock Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis

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Sam Burgess surprised SAS Australia viewers during Wednesday night’s episode when he revealed that he was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) while playing rugby league three years ago.

The former NRL star opened up to fellow recruit Heath Shaw about his diagnosis, saying that he was constantly getting “bad headaches” after repeated head injuries during his career.

Sam Burgess on SAS.
Sam revealed on SAS that he was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis three years ago. Photo: Supplied

“I was back on the training field, the doctor comes up, the physio comes running over and says, ‘You’ve been diagnosed with MS from your head scan’,” he recounts.

“I said, ‘What the f**k does that mean?’ He said, ‘You’ve got to get off the field now, I’ve got you an appointment with a specialist in about three hours’”.


The 32-year-old went on to say that there were “loads of white dots” on his brain and although the specialist cleared him of MS, he was warned that there could be signs in the future.

“It was something that I took very seriously,” he added. “I have to get my brain scanned every six months to see if it is degenerating or getting worse or improving.

“I think there is damage in my brain, it showed up on the MRI, but would I change a thing? I don’t know. I’m not dirty on the game.”

Sam Burgess.
Sam says he doesn’t know if he’d change anything about his football career. Photo: Channel 7

Chatting to Nova’s Fitzy & Wippa on Thursday morning, Sam described the moment when he first received the diagnosis as “really scary”.

“It was sort of a wrong diagnosis but you know, it’s shed light on my brain health which is something now that I’ve had an eye on since that moment,” he said.

“For me now it’s put a plan in place so I can manage my brain health, keep an eye on it and if anything starts to go wrong, I’m on top of it, so if anything it was a great thing.”

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

Sam’s honesty about his health is one of the many personal topics he’s discussed during his time on SAS Australia after he previously admitted to cheating on his wife.

The ex-South Sydney Rabbitohs player was emotional when speaking about his extramarital affair, acknowledging that he doesn’t think he was “the greatest husband at times”.

“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.

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

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