For Lang, he sees the two of them as being the best forwards of the year, but in order to do so, they have to live up to the hype that has been placed on the Rabbitohs pack by NRL fans and experts alike.
”They’ve got the ability [to be the two best forwards in the NRL],” Lang said.
”I want them to go to the next level â€¦ I think they’re heading in the right direction.
”I hope they’re both fighting it out for the Dally M award.”
Despite undergoing shoulder surgery in the off-season, Burgess is raring to go for tonight’s clash against the Roosters, and Lang believes that he will only continue to get better.
”Sam had a really good year,” Lang said.
‘It was his first year [in the NRL]. But I think it’s probably exciting for Sam that there are significant areas where he can improve his game. He’s 22 years old. People have been talking about him being the best English player out here – we won’t know that for another eight years. He’ll be up against Mal Reilly, who had a few premierships under his belt and some victories in the Ashes.
”But the good thing is, Sam wants to do it all.”
Despite perhaps lacking the same element of destructiveness that Burgess showed in 2010, Lang and Souths fans, are hoping that he can get back the destructive form of 2009, where he ran riot for the Broncos.
”Dave is an outstanding talent,” Lang said.
”Talk to any young footballer with any potential, and they all want the big three. If they come from Queensland or NSW, they want to play State of Origin. Then they want to play for Australia. And they want to win a comp. Dave’s got the talent to do all of them.”
The added pressure Souths now have placed on them with their forward pack, star recruit Greg Inglis, and bookmakers believing that they are third favourites to win the premiership is daunting, but Lang won’t have his side getting complacent.
”That’s the challenge for us,” Lang said.
”We need to be a good team one through 17. We can’t be dominated by one player.
”I just want our side to play close to its potential. We’ve got, potentially, a very good team. But we’ve got to play to that potential.
”This is not a John Lang prediction, it’s just reality. You don’t win anything if none of your players play well. The advantage we’ve got is we’ve got some very talented players. But everybody’s got to do their job, in attack and defence. That’s the challenge for us.”