Greg Inglis' Career Highlights & Stats
We look back at GI's glistening club, state and country career.
It’s the end of an era today with the announcement rugby league legend Greg Inglis announcing his retirement effective immediately after a glittering career which likely will see him become an Immortal soon enough.
The former Souths captain achieved everything possible in the sport since his debut as an 18-year-old winger for the Melbourne Storm in 2005.
It’s hard to do justice to the Champion’s career – but let’s look at his efforts for clubs, state and country and salute one of the all-time greats.
Melbourne Storm – 2005-2010. 117 matches, 78 tries, 9 goals, 3 field goals, 333 points.
South Sydney Rabbitohs – 2011-2019. 146 matches, 71 tries, 1 field goal, 285 points.
Inglis burst onto the scene in 2005 following a blistering season for Norths in the Queensland Intrust Super Cup. There was immediate hype on the young talent and with stints on the wing, centre plus as an interchange utility, it was clear coach Craig Bellamy was blooding the precocious starlet for bigger and greater things for the Dally M Rookie of the Year who already was showing his eventual customary tryscoring strike rate with 7 tries in 13 Storm appearances.
In a side loaded with emerging stars including Billy Slater, Cameron Smith and Cooper Cronk, Inglis stood out as perhaps the most naturally gifted of the lot. As his body developed, Inglis began to combine immense size suited to a backrower with speed like a flying winger plus ball-playing ability like a five-eighth. Melbourne raced to sign the teenager up long-term and it seemed the sky was the limit for Inglis at the Storm, who delivered arguably his best solo performance in their 34-8 thumping of Manly in the 2007 Grand Final (later stripped for salary cap breaches). Inglis scored twice and was Clive Churchill Medallist for man of the match.
Melbourne soon weren’t just battling other clubs for Inglis – who was still capable of playing as a fullback, winger, centre or five-eighth as suited the team – as rugby and AFL began eyeing him off. Inglis received another contract extension and became the Dally M five-eighth of the year in 2008. Inglis was truly a genuine NRL superstar and won another Premiership in defeating Parramatta in 2009 (later stripped for salary cap breaches) while continuing to evolve his playmaking game.
Melbourne’s world came crashing down in 2010 when their salary cap breaches were exposed and it was clear the Storm needed to shed one of their key players. Inglis was open for a move and despite Brisbane chasing him hard, Inglis eventually found a new challenge at South Sydney, who were desperate for the superstar to lead them to their first Premiership since 1971. Eyebrows were raised at Inglis backflipping on the chance to join an established Brisbane powerhouse but the star soon showed why he belonged at Redfern.
Inglis’ signing was hailed as the biggest in Bunnies history and signalled Souths transitioning from an underachieving club to one demanding success. Inglis took on leadership responsibility both on and off the field at Redfern and quickly developed into the heart and soul of the foundation club. He scored 18 tries in his first season in the cardinal and myrtle and helped mentor the next wave of Souths talent. The likes of Alex Johnston, Adam Reynolds and Issac Luke grew immeasurably around Inglis and after winning the 2013 Dally M Centre of the Year award as Souths inched closer to their breakthrough, Inglis achieved his greatest career highlight in the 2014 Grand Final win over Canterbury. He scored in the decider and his now famous goanna celebration went down in league folklore.
Inglis’ power game begun to take a toll physically on him in his later career, including in 2017 when he tore an ACL in round one against the Tigers - before proceeding to play nearly an hour with the season-ending injury and even scoring a try with it. Inglis announced his imminent retirement at the end of the 2020 season but chronic shoulder and knee complaints limited him to two appearances in 2019 before his immediate retirement.
Queensland – 2006-2018, 32 appearances, 18 tries, 72 points.
Maybe the most controversial Maroon of his era, Inglis was born in Kempsey and grew up in Bowraville but was deemed eligible for Queensland. He proceeded to torture the Blues for over a decade, becoming the Maroons’ all-time top try scorer and a key foundation of the Queensland dynasty who won nine straight series from 2006 – 2013 (coinciding with Inglis’ debut). Perhaps the greatest show of Inglis’ athleticism in his career was with the Maroon jersey on – in 2008 he steamrolled NSW winger Anthony Quinn with disdain in a blockbuster run which set the tone for yet another NSW heartbreak. Playing at fullback, wing and his preferred centre position, Inglis’ maturity and esteem was displayed when he became Queensland captain in his comeback- and in hindsight final- Origin series in 2018. Inglis is one of only ten Maroons to play over 30 Origins and won the 2009 Wally Lewis Medal for Queenslander of the series. A proud Queenslander, he’s an automatic selection in any greatest Queensland side of all-time debate.
Australia – 2006-2016, 39 appearances, 31 tries, 124 points.
Inglis was a constant for Australia through good times and bad in his decade-long tenure. A member of the 2008 World Cup side who lost the final to New Zealand, Inglis got his redemption five years later in England. Inglis was a big-game player and this showed on the international stage. A hat-trick in Australia’s 52-4 crushing of England in the 2008 World Cup left the Poms with mental scars, while his incredible try assist in the centenary ANZAC test against New Zealand for Mark Gasnier remains arguably the greatest of all time. In 2009 Inglis won the Golden Boot award for best rugby league player in the world after dominating the representative year for state and nation, and only the legendary Darren Lockyer and Ken Irvine have scored more tries for Australia than “GI.”
Inglis is a rare example of a heavily hyped youngster not just living up to the billing – but exceeding it. Inglis was a superstar across multiple positions for two clubs, was a key part of the greatest Origin dominance we’ll ever see and was Australia’s most reliable try scorer for a decade. Inglis will eventually become an Immortal and the game is better for the memories this legend has created for nearly 15 years.