Greg Inglis knows he will have a target on his back in Super League – but insists coming out of retirement to join Warrington won’t tarnish his legacy.
The 33-year-old has not played since April 2019, having won World Cups, Grand Finals and been an integral part of Queensland’s eight-year winning streak in the lauded State of Origin series.
Inglis’ decision to join Warrington on a one-year contract raised raised eyebrows on both sides of the world, after he had previously decided to call time on his stellar career. But after landing in this country late last week, he insists his competitive fire has returned.
Inglis said: “Once I’ve crossed that white line, my mentality changes. I’m a happy-go-lucky guy and a bit of a joker around the changing rooms – but when I play I know I’ve got a job to do. That job is to go out and do the best for the team.
“I know there will be a target on my head but that’s just how it’s going to be and what I was expecting anyway.
“I don’t really care what the outside world says about me – what I care about is the pressure I put on myself and the standards I set myself. That’s what I expect from my fellow team-mates as well, that’s how it’s been in the sides I’ve been around and that’s how my mentality is.
“You block any outside noise and concentrate on how well I can deliver for the team. I know what I’m capable of and I know the standards I’ve set myself.
“One of the things that drives me is the fear of failure. It will take me five or six rounds to get back to my best but I know I can get there and hard work does pay off.
“I’ve been out of the game for two years – now it’s pretty much getting back on the bike, having an oil change, the tyres pumped back up and make sure the gears are working.”
In the near two years since his retirement, Inglis has focused much of his time on the Goanna Academy he formed in Sydney to help tackle mental health stigmas in the young.
He hopes to continue that work in the community around Warrington when Covid restrictions allow – and has promised to try and replicate the lizard-crawling try celebration that his organisation takes its name from.
Inglis added: “Over here it depends how wet it is – it could turn into a slug that crashes into a fence! We’ll wait and see how it goes – I’ll do my best.”
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