Written by Zack Wilson
Warrington Wolves’ announcement that they have signed Greg Inglis for the 2021 campaign has illuminated a dark time for UK rugby league.
Inglis is a true great the game, and seeing a player of his quality in Super League will surely excite spectators.
The niggling issue is, of course, that Inglis has been retired since April 2019 and has not played a game of rugby league since March 2018.
Injury played its part in his retirement and he has also battled depression too, but the player has asserted he is keen to make his mark at Wire.
Warrington CEO Karl Fitzpatrick has confirmed that the player will arrive at the club in December.
Fitzpatrick has also insisted that the player did not retire because of his shoulder injury, an assertion that is clearly intended to reassure fans that Inglis is healthy enough to still perform at the required level.
It will be interesting to see where the Wolves deploy Inglis on the pitch.
With Gareth Widdop and Blake Austin in the halves, seeing Inglis complement that partnership from fullback will be an option that will have many at Wire excited.
Inglis can also play at centre or even standoff, of course, but one wonders whether his long spell on the sidelines will have affected his abilities.
Hopefully, the player’s reactions and speed will still be up to scratch to perform to the required standard.
It would be unedifying to see him end up playing poorly in the manner of Sonny Bill Williams earlier this season.
If he has slowed down a little during his spell on the sidelines, we might see Inglis adopting a new position in the pack.
💬 Steve Price on G.I's signing: “Greg is a world class athlete and has received the highest honours within our game.
“I’m looking forward to working with him on a professional and personal level, and I’m excited to welcome him into our group.”#GI2021 pic.twitter.com/S99AB0SRsL
— Warrington Wolves (@WarringtonRLFC) May 19, 2020
There is a range of issues to be contemplated and plenty of time to consider them before Inglis finally steps out onto the field in primrose and blue.
As a PR stroke, it is massive for the game in Europe right now. Doom and gloom have dominated the headlines in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
No one is yet sure when or even whether the 2020 season will ever get going again.
But at least the Wolves have given us something to dream about during the current dark days.
Given the current financial problems faced by most rugby league clubs in the wake of the current health crisis, it might be a while before we see any other signings of this quality arrive
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