High praise has been heaped on Greg Inglis since he announced his shock retirement from Rugby League.
The 15-year career provided enough highlights and spine-tingling moments to put him amongst the top athletes ever to play in the NRL.
“I’ve known Greg since he was 18… he’s developed an aura. When he walks into a room, people feel comfortable that he’s on their side,” former Queensland Maroons coach Mal Meninga said.
“He has obviously been a mentor for Indigenous people, but he has also been a mentor for all Australians.”
Coaches are possibly best placed to see the impact a player has on people. Wayne Bennett said he wishes he had the chance to coach Inglis a bit more.
“I made no secret of the fact that I wanted to coach Greg one day, and even though it was only brief, I’ve really enjoyed coaching him since joining South Sydney in December,” Mr Bennett said.
“Greg will be celebrated as one of the most talented players to have played our game.”
Perhaps the biggest praise is that which comes from the opposition. Josh Morris stood opposite Inglis in State of Origin many times and says it was one of the toughest battles of his career.
“I used to hate it when critics would bag him around Origin because it would light a fire and we would just cop it from him,” Mr Morris said.
“His legacy is huge. He and Johnathan Thurston over the last 10-15 years have been instrumental for their Indigenous communities and made such a positive impact there.”
By Keiran Deck