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Former Warrington Wolves star opens up on depression and struggles following retirement

When Greg Inglis came out of retirement to sign for Warrington Wolves for the 2021 season it sent shock waves around Super League and the wider rugby league world.

Sadly for both player and club that deal lasted just three games with the former Australian and Queensland superstar having to hang up the boots due to a hamstring injury.

In those three games Inglis had made an impact registering two tries and whilst both he and the club decided to terminate his playing contract, it was agreed that he would remain with the club to share his vast wealth of experience until the end of the campaign.

He’s now revealed what his mental health was like after hanging up the boots, something that would likely indicate why he felt the need to stick around the Halliwell Jones Stadium despite his playing career coming to an end.

Incredibly it was another legend of the game whose words helped Inglis to adapt to normal life post playing career, the centre revealing the huge impact that Wayne Bennett had on him.

Speaking with Stuff NZ, Inglis said: “I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I thought I could just retire and move back home, live near the beach [or] live on a property.

“But Wayne Bennett said this to me, ‘When you retire, you’re a long way from retired’, and I didn’t understand that until I started going down that slippery slope.”

Prior to making the move to Warrington Inglis had been diagnosed as bipolar, whilst having also battled alcoholism and depression. Getting that diagnosis gave him clarity and was “the best thing I ever did”, something he told the Sydney Morning Herald previously.

Post playing ‘G.I.’ has taken it upon himself to do more for the mental health of others, in turn helping keep his own battles at bay, creating the Goanna Academy which breaks the stigma surrounding mental health.

He explained: “[Mental health] wasn’t spoken about [when I was young]. It never was spoken about, where now it’s open. I’m just glad I’m doing my part.”

It’s something he is still very active in now, attending a clinic just this Monday alongside South Sydney Rabbitohs’ star Cody Walker.

Walker explained: “It’s been well-documented how he had his struggles and found a way to deal with those mental health issues he was faced with, and I was just asked to come on board. Come out and see various communities across NSW.”

Inglis had played much of his career with the Bunnies, representing them almost 150 times after having made the switch from boyhood club Melbourne Storm ahead of the 2011 season.

Incredibly Inglis played 39 times for his nation, scoring 31 tries, highlighting the incredible player he was. It’s brilliant now to see that he’s thriving post playing career after having battled demons in the early weeks and months of retirement.

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