Infotainment Factory: The biggest scar left by Inglis retirement

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Sunday, 14 April 2019

The biggest scar left by Inglis retirement


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Darren Lockyer says the Rabbitohs can win the premiership this season even without newly retired champion Greg Inglis but the superstar centre's abrupt departure leaves a far bigger hole for a Queensland side that has been plunged into a drastic rebuilding phase.

After Cameron Smith retired from representative football on the eve of Origin I last year Inglis stepped into the hooker's massive shoes to take the Maroons captaincy and won plaudits for his inspiring leadership of a young team.

Billy Slater was next to go, hanging up the boots at the end of last year to leave Inglis as the last remaining legend from Queensland's dynastic era but his sudden retirement has left a giant leadership chasm in a team that used to be full of them.

Greg Inglis retires

It's a hole that rugby league legend Peter Sterling said the Maroons should be concerned about.

"I was talking to Darren Lockyer at the weekend and he pointed out that three or four years ago they had something like six club captains within their team," Sterling told Wide World of Sports in an exclusive video tribute for Inglis.

"Now, and we don't know what side they'll field, but Daly Cherry-Evans is probably the only club captain in contention to play, so the leadership is a concern for Queensland. Michael Morgan will be considered as well but Greg Inglis was the stand-out."

Inglis will go down as one of Queensland's greatest ever players having scored 18 tries in 32 games as he established the most prolific edge combination in Origin history with Darius Boyd, who more often than not was the winger who played outside him.

Even as the years of wear and tear caught up with him and he was struggling physically, Inglis was one of his side's outstanding players in last year's 2-1 series loss to the Blues, with Sterling in awe of the star's ability to get up for the big occasion.

"Last year, we saw in last year's Origin series that Greg couldn't physically do what he'd done for so many years but he still had a profound influence on that Origin series, just in a different way," Sterling said.

While Inglis' leadership will be missed by Queensland it was the champion's trademark fend that stood out to Sterling as the Inglis attribute that would be remembered most fondly.

"When I think of moments with Greg Inglis, there's too many to say 'that was my favourite' but they'll all involve the fend," Sterling said.

"It's the best fend that I've seen in the game for the last couple of decades. That's why it was so difficult to tackle Greg Inglis, he was so strong down bottom that if you went low he could get rid of you but if you went high, you just got the big palm into the chest, and there you are back there. "

Pushed on single moments that Inglis would be remembered for, Sterling singled out a length-of-the-field try in the Rabbitohs' 2014 premiership season with the fullback beating just about the whole Broncos side on the way to the try-line at Suncorp Stadium.

Greg Inglis made his 'goanna' celebration famous.

Alongside that try on Sterling's list of memories was the 'goanna' celebration that punctuated the 2014 grand final following Inglis' 80th minute try.

"He was just such a wonderful mover; when you look at the great movers in our game, there's a kind of poetry in the way that they do," Sterling said.

"I played with Brett Kenny and the way that he moved, the top half of his body was different to the bottom and Greg Inglis was something similar, the way he ran he looked like a 400m runner who could have done something at the Olympics.

"He's just one of those great, natural instinctive players who was just great to watch whether you were supporting his team or whether you were just a fan of rugby league."

Darren Lockyer says the Rabbitohs can win the premiership this season even without newly retired champion Greg Inglis but the superstar centre's abrupt departure leaves a far bigger hole for a Queensland side that has been plunged into a drastic rebuilding phase.

After Cameron Smith retired from representative football on the eve of Origin I last year Inglis stepped into the hooker's massive shoes to take the Maroons captaincy and won plaudits for his inspiring leadership of a young team.

Billy Slater was next to go, hanging up the boots at the end of last year to leave Inglis as the last remaining legend from Queensland's dynastic era but his sudden retirement has left a giant leadership chasm in a team that used to be full of them.

Greg Inglis retires

It's a hole that rugby league legend Peter Sterling said the Maroons should be concerned about.

"I was talking to Darren Lockyer at the weekend and he pointed out that three or four years ago they had something like six club captains within their team," Sterling told Wide World of Sports in an exclusive video tribute for Inglis.

"Now, and we don't know what side they'll field, but Daly Cherry-Evans is probably the only club captain in contention to play, so the leadership is a concern for Queensland. Michael Morgan will be considered as well but Greg Inglis was the stand-out."

Inglis will go down as one of Queensland's greatest ever players having scored 18 tries in 32 games as he established the most prolific edge combination in Origin history with Darius Boyd, who more often than not was the winger who played outside him.

Even as the years of wear and tear caught up with him and he was struggling physically, Inglis was one of his side's outstanding players in last year's 2-1 series loss to the Blues, with Sterling in awe of the star's ability to get up for the big occasion.

"Last year, we saw in last year's Origin series that Greg couldn't physically do what he'd done for so many years but he still had a profound influence on that Origin series, just in a different way," Sterling said.

While Inglis' leadership will be missed by Queensland it was the champion's trademark fend that stood out to Sterling as the Inglis attribute that would be remembered most fondly.

"When I think of moments with Greg Inglis, there's too many to say 'that was my favourite' but they'll all involve the fend," Sterling said.

"It's the best fend that I've seen in the game for the last couple of decades. That's why it was so difficult to tackle Greg Inglis, he was so strong down bottom that if you went low he could get rid of you but if you went high, you just got the big palm into the chest, and there you are back there. "

Pushed on single moments that Inglis would be remembered for, Sterling singled out a length-of-the-field try in the Rabbitohs' 2014 premiership season with the fullback beating just about the whole Broncos side on the way to the try-line at Suncorp Stadium.

Greg Inglis made his 'goanna' celebration famous.

Alongside that try on Sterling's list of memories was the 'goanna' celebration that punctuated the 2014 grand final following Inglis' 80th minute try.

"He was just such a wonderful mover; when you look at the great movers in our game, there's a kind of poetry in the way that they do," Sterling said.

"I played with Brett Kenny and the way that he moved, the top half of his body was different to the bottom and Greg Inglis was something similar, the way he ran he looked like a 400m runner who could have done something at the Olympics.

"He's just one of those great, natural instinctive players who was just great to watch whether you were supporting his team or whether you were just a fan of rugby league."

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