Greg Inglis, a man who has achieved almost everything in the game, will arrive on English shores next season to play for Warrington Wolves in Super League.
After more than a year retired, a lot will be made of his age, condition and salary. But let’s all take a step back for a minute, and just grasp the enormity of this capture for rugby league in this country.
What GI brings is a wealth of experience, a wealth of success, astonishing talent and his own brand, because that’s exactly what he is, a brand name all on his own. He will attract investment, sponsorship, merchandising and boundless publicity for the sport here.
This signing is a game-changer, not just for Warrington, but for Super League as a whole. He will put an extra 2,000 on the gate of most clubs and has the potential to stay in this country beyond his playing time and nurture the next generation of talent in England.
Unlike Sonny Bill Williams, whose signing also made huge headlines, Inglis will be right here in England, playing for a very established, very successful club. To the rugby league purists, the signing of GI probably means that little bit more due to his longevity in the sport over the last decade, where he has consistently produced the goods in the NRL and at international level.
The signing hasn’t just brought a smile to Warrington fan’s faces, but to most who follow rugby league and in particular Super League. The last few months have been testing for us all and to witness GI bursting down the pitch, smashing through all those who try to stop him is something many can’t wait to witness first hand.
Although 99% of the feedback to the signing has been positive, some are questioning the fitness of Inglis after such a long time away. However many have proved that coming out of retirement can be done successfully, even after a sustained period away.
In fact, a lengthy spell away has done a number of players good; just take a look at Gareth Ellis. He retired at the end of 2017, but then came out of retirement to play 20 games last year at Hull FC. He then signed a new contract with the Airlie Birds for this year and has not shown a significant drop in his performance level since he played the sport previously.
So, let’s just enjoy having the rugby league maestro that is Greg Inglis here and look forward to the enormous benefits he will bring for the game as a result. Super League 2021 will include GI, SBW and who knows, maybe slammin’ Sam next?