Rugby star Sam Burgess hailed a hero for helping choking man


Sydney (AFP)

Former England Test centre Sam Burgess was Saturday hailed a hero in Australia after he reportedly helped a man choking on a piece of seafood.

Burgess, who quit English Premiership rugby union side Bath last year to return to rugby league's South Sydney Rabbitohs, was with team-mates at the Sydney Fish Market on Friday when he sprang into action.

The Souths players were taking part in a fish-eating challenge when a man joined in and began to choke, a witness, who asked not to be named, told

"Some seafood got caught in his throat and he started choking. Sam raced straight over and grabbed him and started putting his body weight on him to try and get it out."

The man was eventually able to swallow the tricky morsel but the witness said "if Sam hadn't helped it could have been bad".

"I'm telling you Sam is a hero."

The Sydney Fish Market also tweeted its thanks, saying: "All we can say is that @SamBurgess8 is a true #hero. And we are not talking about on the footy field."

Foxsports said it was not the first time that Burgess has saved someone from choking, reporting that in 2007 he performed the Heimlich manoeuvre on a man choking on a piece of sausage.

At the time, Burgess said his heroics were inspired by a scene from the movie 'Mrs Doubtfire', it said.