SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 15: Rabbitohs captain Greg Inglis speaks to the media as he announces his retirement from rugby league during a South Sydney Rabbitohs NRL media conference at Redfern Oval on April 15, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

There are two ways to view Greg Inglis’ retirement announcement made on Monday. On the surface, the press conference informing the rugby league community that one of the greats of the game was calling time on his 14-year career, was moving.

There is no joy in seeing great athletes, pushed to the psychological brink due to injuries that hamper their ability to perform in the manner they once did. Inglis has spent copious hours in the physio’s hands over the last five years. First with lingering knee problems that brought significant pain, through which he played on numerous occasions and now with a serious shoulder problem that has retarded the movement in the joint so significantly that even his everyday activities have been affected.

The entire rugby league world stands in respect of the 32-year-old veteran of 32 Origin matches and 39 Test matches for an Australian team of which he had recently been named captain.

With all due respect to Inglis intended, there is a second lens through which many fans will see his sudden departure from the game and South Sydney’s decision to make an application to the NRL to have his considerable wage removed from their salary cap liabilities.

If reports of $1.5 million being due to Inglis over the next 18 months are correct, that liability is substantial. If Bunnies CEO Blake Solly and General Manager of Football Shane Richardson are able to free up that cash, South Sydney will be perfectly situated for an immediate ‘topping up’ of their squad. Alternatively, they will become a real contender for the signature of the next marquee player that comes on the open market.

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Inglis will reportedly sacrifice his wage and take on an ambassadorial role at Souths. As a mentor, coach and community leader, he will be an asset and potentially make significant contributions to young players, the game as a whole and the indigenous community to which he has been an inspiration.

The number floated for his services is $300,000. A fair price I say for a man working full-time and with multiple responsibilities in a million dollar organisation. With many feeling the NRL is likely to ‘top up’ that amount and use Inglis in a similar role, the 263-game legend may hardly be out of pocket at all.

Opposition NRL clubs will smell a rat and why wouldn’t they? With no suggestion that the injury itself is anything but legitimate, boardrooms will be a chatter with discussion around the potential freeing up of money thanks to what appears a significant loophole in the salary cap system.

There are an array of ageing and busted players with whom clubs would love to reach some kind of comfortable agreement. Dare I suggest the Bulldogs – living in salary cap hell – might love to get their hands on Kieran Foran’s salary and the Dragons must be miffed that another season without Gareth Widdop appears likely.

What concerns me most about the pending approval of the Rabbitohs’ application to the NRL is the fundamental question around whether Greg Inglis cannot play or just doesn’t want to play.

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Either way, I will applaud his career and his proud representation of the indigenous community in the greatest game of all. However, the delineation between being physically incapable of playing in 2019 and feeling that the time is right to walk away from the game even though competing may be physically possible, lies at the core of this decision.

If an independent medical practitioner was to examine Inglis and inform the rugby league world that he was physically incapable of taking to the field in 2019, I would be satisfied.

However, if three months out of the game to rest and rehabilitate the injury could hypothetically have Inglis back on the field by Round 20 and ready for the Bunnies finals’ charge, I call shenanigans.

The diagnosis of his injury should be the fundamental determiner in the NRL decision on South Sydney’s application.

That diagnosis would determine whether Greg Inglis is incapable of playing rugby league due to a crippling injury or merely a player who sees the long haul back to full fitness as a road he is unwilling to travel at this stage of his career.

That question lies at the heart of the decision on the potential salary cap relief that, considering the NRL’s support of Inglis in the past, will almost certainly be granted to the Bunnies.

As glorious and heralded as Inglis’ career has been, this final chapter is just a little on the nose and the Pandora’s Box it opens will be examined and potentially exploited by other clubs in the near future.

37 COMMENTS

  1. A rat? 100%.
    Souffs the transit lounge club push out one of their fineness players for Daris Boyd’s welcome return to be his daddy.

    • As for inglis he was fit at the start of the year then reports came out that he hurt himself at training with one of his knees, then the next report was he was 15kgs overweight, then the next report was when he lost the weight which he said he was still 5kg over weight that Bennett ask him if he wanted to play fullback.

      Then the next thing was he got hurt during the Roosters game and then next game his shoulder was giving him grief and he couldn’t tackle.
      Then the next thing was he was rested for a couple of weeks until he recovered then the final bit of information was that he was granted a week off to see where his head was and the next week he announced his retirement.

      Soufffths are trying to pull a swiftie here because his shoulder was wrecked against the Mighty Roosters. Remember he played uninjured and played 20 games last season. This season he gets injured in the first game and then the diagnosis is not even an operation can fix it so he is by retiring trying to free up the salary cap when in reality he is out for the season through injury. 💪🐔👍

  2. It’s a pre existing injury so there should be no cap relief. Seeing as Greenberg gave him a personal reference for the courts when he got done for speeding and drink driving, I dare say he will rubber stamp this and give them another free ride.

  3. In an era where media speculation and comment requires no investigative truth nor fact, writing the above article only inflames public opinion in a world where everybody can say what they want and be heard via social media. Beware the social media disaster zone, the nuclear toxicity that comes from content that takes on a life of its own. Recent ‘Facebook’ reveals about privacy for sale and the buying reasons for that info, only point to where individuals and individual thinking is being challenged by group thinking and the influence of ‘bot’ comments designed to ‘trend’ posts with an agenda. ‘Fake News’ is real … and humanity has lost interest in what the truth really is.

    • President Trump, I have not lost interest in what is TRUTH. The TRUTH is souffffths signed this bloke up knowing exactly what his medical History is and if he breaks down at the end, during or at the beginning of a season then they must cop it on the chin. I smell a WOMBAT something much larger than a rat. soufffths should not be given any special treatment. Next season the money should be allowed but definitely not this season. Who wants more TRUTH❓❔❓❔❓

      The truth is soufffffths fans claim they get the most fans in the League and nobody supports the Roosters. Well lets just look at the TRUTH backed up with evidence. So CLOWNS like penz0 and his SOUFFFFTHS mates can see the clear picture.
      Last 10 seasons of Home Crowds between the Roosters verse soufffths. 20 games were played between the two clubs over 10yrs.

      Sydney Roosters Home crowds against soufffths
      Sydney Roosters 2018-15242, 2017-16245, 2016-25125, 2015-25019, 2014-32481, 2013-35952, 2012-19934, 2011-27803, 2010-18424, 2009-24486 Add all those crowds up = 265,238 and divide that by 10yrs/home games for a ten year average home game crowd = 26,523

      souffffths rabbit’os home game crowd against the Roosters
      2018-26331, 2017-10479, 2016-18161, 2015-27289, 2013-59708 * please not this was the last game of the season and they were playing for the minor premiership and souffffths were piggybacked with this attendance as the Roosters went onto win the comp. 2012-18274, 2011-14671, 2010-23149, 2009-11031 Add all those soufffths home crowds up = 236,379 and divide that by 10yrs/home games for a ten year average home game crowd = 23,637

      So Mr Trump the evidence is before our very eyes. penz0 and his fan club are FAKE NEWS. as the evidence clearly shows that in the past ten seasons the at the Roosters home game vs souffffths is 26,523 to soufffths home game against the Roosters is only 23 637 The Roosters attract more people to their home game by 2616.💪🐔👍

      I rest my case Mr Trump with a link so all fans can know the TRUTH

      https://afltables.com/rl/crowds/summary.html

      • Please note I accidently left out souffffths home crowd of 2014 which was 27282 out of my post but it is calculated in to the equation and the soufffths home crowd average still remains the same.

      • Wood Chook, that is because there were way more Souths fans at your Rorts home games as our fans do bother to get off our Ass’s and get to the game.

        When it is Souths Home Games your pathetic rabble stay at home and watch it on the telly while sipping their lattes!

        That is the true FACTS!

        Count the fans at games, most clubs biggest home crowds always coincide when they play the Rabbitohs!

        • 3caps 🎓🤠💊Your reply is a typical idiotic response from a typical soufffths fan and that is all you can come up with is count the jerseys walking through the gates.😂🤣😁😆😁🤣😂😂😂

          I was at the record crowd of 44,380 for a Roosters home Preliminary Final at the SFS last season when we knocked souffffths out of the Comp and the crowd was 65-35 in the Roosters favour. If you bothered to attend it was easy to estimate that amount by when the teams scored. But CLOWNS 🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡 like you make your estimate from the TV. So you cant tell me those false stories and think you can get away with it.

          Here is just a few FACTS with numbers that if you did the smallest amount of research you could prove to yourself that the Roosters are a team people are drawn to watch even from the opposition because they know ther in for a great day of entertainment. Just to mention a few other highest attendances at other grounds during the regular season and not home semis proves the Roosters are a massive draw card when they are the opposition at
          souffffths highest home crowd of 59k plus 4th highest crowd of 35k
          Penriths Highest home crowd of 22.8k even beating their local derby with Parra and also their fourth highest home of 22.2k crowd. but no mention of souffffths in their highest list
          Wests 2nd highest home crowd at Campbelltown of 19.9k with no mention of soufffths in the highest list.
          NZ Warriors 3rd highest home crowd of 32.7k and no mention of soufffths in the highest list.
          Saints highest ever home crowd of 40k and at WIN stadium the Roosters are the highest with 19.5k
          Canterbury’s 5th highest home crowd ever of 35.5k
          Oh by the way 3caps the Roosters highest home crowds not including semis is Saints 40.8k Manly fans are not known for traveling over the Bridge but they are 4th on the list with 37.9 so mainly rooster fans and poor old local derby smelly ol soufffths are 5th on the Roosters all time home crowd list with 35.9
          💪🐔👍…🐓🐓🐓🐓🐓🐓🐓🐓🐓🐓🐓🐓🐓🐓🐓🐓🐓🐓🐓🐓🐓🐓🐓🐓🐓🐓

        • STEVESYD 🤣😁😆😁🤣😂🤣🤣🤣😂

          Hey Stevsyd, your obsession with the Sydney Roosters is very flattering.
          On your next weekly visit to your anti padded cell Doc, ask for an increase in your nutter 🥜🥜🥜🥜🥜 dosage.
          By the way , I know you love the statistic Facts, not your delusional theories.💪🐔👍

    • Identify the elements of this story that are in question. Happy to concede if you can. Merely raises a key question that came to light with the Anthony Watmough diagnosis a few years back. More than a fair question and the boards of various clubs are particularly interested in it.

  4. If an employee is on a two year contract for your business and comes to you and says that they want out earlier than the agreed date, would you have to pay out their full contract? I don’t think so. Same with Inglis, he has resigned, not claiming injury. The hype around all of this is it is at Souths. How many other players have pulled the pin on their careers, don’t get paid their full contract, and don’t get a mention because they don’t play for Souths. All the past history and crow figures have nothing to do with this story

    • For Starters Chalky souffffths are one of the most arrogant clubs in the comp even the dumbo fans keep bringing up Fake News by continually false claiming they are the pride of the league. What A load Of Rubbish❗❕❗❕❗Most fans hate souffffths😂😁😁😆😁🤣😂 Now you all want to pull the wool over every fans eyes by wanting a heap of money to spend on top of all your TPA’s all because the dud Australian and souffffs captain has broken down with mental health issues and a few physical injuries to go with it.

  5. There is only 3 rats one being the nrl the other being the rorters the 2nd rat and the 3rd rat is the storm.the nrl give melbourne a top 2 team year after year and the afl dont even notice the storm who is the storm they laugh?? Oh yeah nick the trick politis/rorters the 3rd rat does the brown paper bags under the table for years/decades but the #1 rat the nrl let both these 2 over the cap teams get away with fraud where is the honest playing field nrl? Thats right we dont have won…fact even blind freddy knows it gday LU LIMP WRISTED BOYS WINK WINK WINK…

    • You can tell you’re a Souths supporter with all the errors in that comment, I take it you have a tooth in your head to?

      Did you seriously try spell the number one as “won”?

      • Hahahahaha well welcome back penz0/ManWar69er. Isn’t it amazing you always zoom in from nowhere as a supposed Manly Seabird fan to back up soufffths nitwits, penz0😂😆😁🤣😁😆😂

    • These might come in handy just in case you see the ladder at the bottom of this page.
      Lifeline.com.au
      Beyondblue.com.au
      Go Storm!

  6. Stuart Thomas, you really do need to do your research before you write $H!T mate!

    Matai, Stewart and also Watmough all had pre-existing Injuries when they signed their NEW heavily backended contracts so the NRL did smell a rort when these players couldn’t continue playing.
    A Rort it certainly was!

    Greg Inglis signed his contract in 2016 under the old Salary Cap amount of $7.135M and NOT the Now Cap of $9.6M so this $1M per season as suggested is just rubbish.

    GI is on closer to $850k per season, that was a massive salary back in 2016.

    In 2016 when he signed his new contract…

    GI had NOT hurt his ACL that was in 2017. His left knee.
    When GI was out in 2017 he also had an operation on his then dodgy RIGHT KNEE.
    That operation was successful…

    Did anyone notice in 2018 and also this season GI played with NO STRAPPING on either knee?
    Both of his knees were OK, the Media speculated and were WRONG!

    In 2016 GI did NOT hurt his shoulder that was in 2018 against the Storm in the Semi when they Chicken Winged him on 3 occasions in that game.
    No Penalty to Souths, by the way, no citings either, it was a joke!

    GI did sign his contract in 2016 in good faith.
    GI did NOT have a backended contract
    GI did NOT have these 2 current injuries.

    There have been many players over the years who retire due to Injuries OR they have just had enough.

    Players know when it is time to retire.

  7. The big difference is Matai, Stewart and Watmough were all paid out in FULL as they all demanded their Salaries.

    GI did NOT
    GI has walked away from his $850k for next season plus 6 months of his Salary this season.

    That is a MAJOR difference!

    Do you all get it now?

    • souffffths are trying to rort the system, then on top of that with the money they want by claiming Inglis money is to continue on their “TRANSIT LOUNGE” merry way and start buying contracted rejects carrying severe injury, like the Brisbane centre James Roberts who is contracted to the Ponies until 2021

      I doubt if Roberts would even want to return to a work place and potentially get sacked by the same people a second time. you know a lot like Ivan Cleary who got fired at Penrith and then went back only now to be under heaps of pressure and I predict he will be sacked if they do not make the top four, especially when they sacked a coach 2 weeksout from the finals in 5th place. Roberts would be fool to go back to souffffths.

      CLOWNS 🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡 like penz0 and his army of souffffths nitwits try to spruik how souffffths are massive on producing local juniors😂😆😁🤣😁😆😂😂😂 Well now that Inglis is gone heres your big local junior opportunity😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😁🤣😁🤣😁🤣😁🤣😁🤣😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😁🤣😁🤣😁🤣😁🤣😁🤣😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😁🤣😁🤣😁🤣😁🤣😁🤣

  8. As for inglis he was fit at the start of the year then reports came out that he hurt himself at training with one of his knees, then the next report was he was 15kgs overweight, then the next report was when he lost the weight which he said he was still 5kg over weight that Bennett ask him if he wanted to play fullback.
    Then the next thing was he got hurt during the Roosters game and then next game his shoulder was giving him grief and he couldn’t tackle.

    Then the next thing was he was rested for a couple of weeks until he recovered then the final bit of information was that he was granted a week off to see where his head was and the next week he announced his retirement.
    Soufffths are trying to pull a swiftie here because his shoulder was wrecked against the Mighty Roosters. Remember he played uninjured and played 20 games last season. This season he gets injured in the first game and then the diagnosis is not even an operation can fix it so he is by retiring trying to free up the salary cap when in reality he is out for the season through injury.

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