Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
Greg Inglis has undoubtedly had an illustrious career in Rugby League and will be remembered as one of the sport’s greatest athletes.
His accolades include three Grand Final victories, an RLIF Rookie of the Year award, a Clive Churchill Medal, a Dally M Five-Eighth of the Year award, an RLIF Five-Eighth of the Year award, a Dally M Fullback of the Year award, an RLIF Fullback of the Year award and a Provan Summons Medal amongst other honours.
However, Inglis’ biggest achievement is his lasting legacy in Rugby League.
Throughout the 2000s and mid-2010s, Benji Marshall’s influence on our code was apparent, with superstars such as Shaun Johnson, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Kalyn Ponga implementing aspects of Benji’s game in their attack, utilising his coveted playmaking style to their advantage.
In recent years this has changed, with Greg Inglis taking Marshall’s place as our game’s primary influence on the next generation.
One of the first players to be deemed the “next Greg Inglis” was Latrell Mitchell when he burst onto the scene in 2016.
When he first debuted in the NRL, Inglis was a relatively slim centre who heavily relied on his skill and athleticism to make his mark in the league.
He then moved into the five-eighth role, before bulking up and becoming a powerful fullback that was near unstoppable, and Latrell Mitchell is well on the way to achieving the same feat.
Mitchell reached the status of the game’s best centre early in his career, before applying his trade at five-eighth for the Sydney Roosters from time to time.
In 2020, he signed with the South Sydney Rabbitohs, where he would bulk up and utilise his raw power against defenders in the fullback position.
While he has not reached the same heights as Greg Inglis in the number one as of yet, he is on the right track and most certainly has the potential to do so.
Recently, untested prodigy Joseph Suaalii has received comparisons to Greg Inglis and is touted to be the game’s next big thing.
It’s hard to comment on this one as Suaalii is yet to make his NRL debut, although his current build and athletic ability do mirror those of a younger Greg Inglis.
Whether or not he can live up to the hype is a different story.
Inglis’ impact on our game is far from over, as he has recently come out of retirement to join Warrington in Super League for the 2021 season.
Many people believe GI is the missing piece of the puzzle, that will lead to the Wolves winning their first British First Division title since 1973.