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Legend's call that almost brought Tiger to tears

Martin Gabor -

Jahream Bula has revealed he was almost in tears when he found out future Immortal Greg Inglis wanted to mentor him following his breakout season with the Wests Tigers.

Inglis knows exactly what it's like to be touted as a future great of the game, and it's why he reached out to Bula ahead of the new season to help him steer clear of off-field trouble and focus fully on what he can do to be the best version of himself.

It's something Inglis had to deal with as "the next big thing" coming through the ranks as a teenager at the Storm. He turned to Preston Campbell and David Peachey for advice to help keep him grounded.

Nearly 20 years later, he's become the mentor to one of the game's hottest young talents, and according to Bula, Inglis has been driving home one simple message throughout their first few interactions.

Jahream Bula was one of the best stories of 2023. Picture: Chris Hyde/Getty Images

Jahream Bula was one of the best stories of 2023. (Image: Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

"(He's taught me) to learn to say 'no'," the 2023 Tigers player of the year said.

"There are a lot of people asking for stuff, especially people close to you.

"He just said to learn to say 'no'."

Bula, 22, is just 18 games into his NRL career but has already drawn high praise from guys like Nathan Cleary, who was on the receiving end of a stunning try-saving tackle during their game in Bathurst last year.

The Fijian fullback was one of the few shining lights for the Tigers last season, and he will only get better under new coach Benji Marshall, who played a small role in bringing the two together.

"He just called up Benji and told me he wants to mentor me," Bula said.

"He's going help me with off-field stuff.

"It means a lot. When Benji told me, I almost started crying because it was very emotional for me. It means a lot.

"I think it'll be good so I don't have to make the same mistakes as any former league player made."

Greg Inglis is the perfect mentor for a young fullback. Picture: NRL Photos

Greg Inglis is the perfect mentor for a young fullback. (Image: NRL Photos)

Inglis won't have a hands-on role with helping the Tigers this season, but if he can impart some of his unrivalled skills into Bula's game then there's a fair chance the young man can be the spark they need to finally shine bright.

"I haven't had a lot to do with Greg personally, but he and Jahream have a really good relationship," Marshall said.

"They probably remind me of each other off the field because they're really quiet guys who don't like talking too much, but he'll be great for Jahream in terms of off-field stuff.

"He won't get too involved with stuff we're doing on the field, but it'll be good to have him around."

Martin Gabor - NCA NewsWire


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