LET’S not beat around the bush – Warrington Wolves are taking something of a gamble by appointing Sam Burgess as their new head coach.

They know it, too. Conversations with people within the club have told me they are fully aware that this is a risk.

And yet, in the position they currently find themselves in especially in terms of apathy among the fan base, they feel it is one worth taking.

What does that tell us? That depends very much on your point of view but let us first examine the facts.

In Burgess, The Wire are appointing a man who had an iconic playing career – to many in my generation, he is the finest English player they have ever seen.

However, they are also appointing a man who has never before held a top-grade head coaching position and whose only experience of being in total charge of a side is with Ohara Valley Axemen in a local competition in New South Wales, albeit he did lead them to a Grand Final.

Experience is no guarantee of success as Warrington have found out to their cost lately, but taking on a job with such high expectations attached as your first head coaching role is certainly a brave move on Burgess’ part, but perhaps that says a lot about his character.

No doubt he could have remained in his comfort zone at South Sydney Rabbitohs, safe in the knowledge that at some point, a head coaching role would come up and at only 34 years of age, time is very much on his side in that respect.

Instead, he has chosen to relocate back to England to take on such a demanding role and give his coaching career a real baptism of fire.

To me, that points towards him having the character required, although that was never really in much doubt given his on-field exploits.

And just because this move is a gamble, who’s to say it won’t pay off? Plenty of novice coaches have had plenty of joy in the past.

Justin Holbrook – many people’s first choice to replace Daryl Powell – had never been head coach of a senior club side before kickstarting St Helens’ current era of dominance.

Matt Peet too was thrust into a huge job as Wigan Warriors boss for his first top-grade role and is doing a fine job of it.

Both of those men had more coaching experience behind them than Burgess does of course, but you would hope the level of success the former England skipper had as a player will command the level of respect he needs from everyone at the club.

Getting the right people around him will be key – moving Gary Chambers into the all-encompassing director of rugby role appears a smart move while bringing in the appropriate assistant coaches will be a massive call.

Richard Marshall will remain as one of them, with rumours of Sean Long stepping into the other position appearing unfounded currently despite his departure from Featherstone Rovers fanning the flames.

So while it is a risk that of course has a chance of paying off, there is a reason why this move is considered exactly that – a risk.

While it may have something to do with the current malaise surrounding the club as a whole, there are plenty that have seemingly made up their mind that this will not work.

News of Burgess’ appointment has been greeted by criticism that Wire are – not for the first time – being bewitched by “star power,” while his well-documented brushes with the law and problems with alcohol and drugs will be used by those same critics as evidence that he is not the right man for the job.

At the very least, it is a move that will divide opinion and the club can expect some criticism, which will no doubt level up significantly if this backfires.

A stroke of genius or a wild stab in the dark? I’d say by around this time next year, we’ll know either way.