‘We had serious chats’: Inglis rules out Origin fairytale
Queensland rugby league great Greg Inglis has shut the door on both a return to State of Origin and the NRL, saying he is committed to his Super League contract.
The 33-year-old, who will come out of retirement to play for Warrington in the UK next year, said he had "serious chats" with former Queensland Maroons coach Kevin Walters this year about a fairytale Origin comeback - similar to Allan Langer's return from Super League for the decider in 2001 - but had subsequently ruled it out.
"It was done ages ago with Alfie Langer. When Kevvie rang me … we had serious chats about it," said Inglis, the greatest tryscorer in Origin history.
"At the end of the day I don't want to jump in there and for the younger generations coming through to miss out on the jersey. I left the origin jersey on a good note and I would rather keep it that way instead of coming back and doing damage to it."
"It's not just my name that I don't want to come back for, it's what you want to do for Queensland and what you want to do for that jersey. I want to give the opportunity to the next generation coming through to get a taste of Origin."
One of rugby league's most decorated players, Inglis announced his immediate retirement from the game in April, 2019, after a string of injuries - having torn his anterior cruciate ligament in the opening round of the 2017 season - and off-field battles.
He announced in May this year that he would come out of retirement to play for Warrington in 2021.
While he admits he has received calls from NRL clubs about a possible return to the Australian competition he is committed to moving to the UK in January, alongside girlfriend Alyse Caccamo.
"They (NRL clubs) have reached out but running out for another year I think my body will just go back to square one to be quite honest," Inglis said.
"I asked my family, friends and that and they pretty much all said the same thing, that you don't get an opportunity like this offered to you again, so why not take it. It's only 10 months really. We'll just play footy, we get to travel, it'll be a great experience."
He added: "But I'm not going over there for a holiday; I'm going over there to play footy and put my best foot forward for the team and play the best footy I can."
Another part of the appeal of Super League for Inglis was the diluted scrutiny in the UK compared to what he faced in the NRL.
"I've been having a chat with Steve Price, the head coach over at Warrington now," Inglis said.
"He was saying … over there it's nothing like here; it's very relaxed and you won't have to always watch your back, you can actually go out and enjoy yourself."
Inglis has been dieting and training on his own, doing four running sessions a week while monitoring his knee, as he prepares to return to the game after two years.
"I've always said once I've fallen out of love with the game and my body can't hack it anymore that's when I'll retire," he said. "I'm sure all the league fans want to know the full story of me and why my body is just the way it is. I was 15 years old and I was playing under 18s so I was playing against men when my body wasn't fully developed."
"My body is refreshed now after the two years."
He added: "I just kept waking up and I just couldn't be the leader I should be for the team anymore, so I've got no regrets about calling it quits when I did. But I'm thankful this other opportunity has come up."
Originally published as 'We had serious chats': Inglis rules out Origin fairytale