Greg Inglis wants to remain at fullback for South Sydney but has dismissed any ideas of ousting Billy Slater as Queensland’s No.1.
The Maroons superstar was superb for the Rabbitohs in their 40-22 win over Penrith last week and coach Michael Maguire has echoed the opinion of his former Melbourne mentor Craig Bellamy that fullback is Inglis’s best position.
Maguire was Bellamy’s assistant for four years at the Storm and also turned England superstar Sam Tomkins from a promising halfback into a world class No.1 during his spell with Super League side Wigan.
Inglis last played in the custodian role for the Storm in 2007 and although he started the first two games of the season at centre, Maguire intends on keeping his star man at the back.
“He was a fullback when he first started in Melbourne and then Billy Slater came along and Greg was pushed to five-eighth, and then the centres,” Maguire said in Perth on Thursday.
“When I first saw him back then I thought that was definitely his position, and he backed that up again the other day. So I’m sure we’re going to see plenty of Greg at fullback.”
Inglis was a largely peripheral figure in the Rabbitohs’ opening two NRL fixtures, which ended in defeat, and said he revelled in being more involved against the Panthers.
“I’ll put my hand up for fullback,” Inglis said.
“If I do go back to centres I’d probably have to go looking for the ball more.
“I like having my hand on the ball and being more involved for the full 80 minutes.”
Slater’s form this season has been magnificent for Melbourne and Inglis admits he’s a long way to go to be in the same league as the Dally M Medal winner.
“Billy Slater is one of the best going around and he’s one of those athletes who can really stick it to you and in the blink of an eye he’s gone,” Inglis said.
“You want to compare yourself to guys like that and be up there with the best fullbacks in the world.
“I’m making the transition. I think the last time I played there was 2007, so my lungs were blowing a bit last week but I felt fine after the game.”
Brisbane coach Anthony Griffin has devised a game plan he hopes will keep Inglis in check in Friday night’s NRL clash between the sides in Perth.
The Broncos wrapped up preparations ahead of their long-trip to Western Australia on Thursday with their focus very much on containing Inglis.
And Griffin admitted he’d rather Inglis played in his usual position.
“I’d prefer he was in the centres because he gets a lot of early clean ball now and you saw what he did to Penrith last week,” Griffin said.
“We’ll just have to be very good with our kick-chase and our edge defence when he comes into the line.”
by Buford Balony