Inglis buzzing over No.1 role for Maroons
Greg Inglis’s body language suggests the big Queenslander is primed to torment NSW from his new role at fullback in Wednesday night’s State of Origin series decider.
Inglis was confirmed in the No.1 jersey on Friday after Queensland officially ended Billy Slater’s bid to play, with the South Sydney star sounding a warning to the Blues over his excitement for the new role.
“I know you can’t really tell it, but I’m buzzing out of my skin at the moment,” a relaxed Inglis said.
NSW did a good job of bashing Slater out of Origin II in Sydney with their big men smashing him on every kick return and run through the middle.
“I’m ready for all that, I’m ready for whatever they throw at me,” declared Inglis, who’s been sensational at club level since new Souths coach Michael Maguire moved him to fullback this season.
Queensland confirmed reports Slater was out and that Inglis would play fullback with Melbourne’s Dane Nielsen taking over his left centre spot inside Darius Boyd.
They also confirmed Matt Bowen (Cowboys) and Dave Taylor (South Sydney) had been released from Origin camp at Coolum to play for their NRL clubs at the weekend.
Inglis was considered a potential fullback for Melbourne Storm early in his career when a Slater emerged on the NRL scene.
He’d never given much thought to playing fullback for Queensland because Slater was so brilliant in the position.
“It’s very difficult to keep a kid like Billy (Slater) out of the position,” he said.
“In my early days with Melbourne I pretty much had my opportunity when Billy was a bad boy getting suspended left, right and centre.”
Inglis said Slater possessed remarkable footwork and a cunning ability to anticipate play better than anyone in the game.
“I haven’t seen anyone better at what he does,” he said.
Nielsen said Slater was a “big loss” but it gave him a chance to experience another Origin game after playing the first two matches in 2011.
“I can take a lot from coming in last year (game one) with no experience behind me and playing two games,” he said.
“I’m a lot more confident after doing that on the biggest stage in footy.
“I can take it into the decider. It’s a massive game one-all and it’s going to be a huge crowd. I’m not sure how nervous I’ll be.”
Nielsen was confident he could do the job inside Boyd where Queensland have been most potent this series.
“I know it’s going to be massive game and I only played games one and two last year and I’m very confident I can go out do the job like I did last year.
“I’m really looking forward to the challenge.
“I watched so many Origin deciders as a kid and Origin games so be a part of this at a packed out Suncorp Stadium – I’m really looking forward to it.
“You don’t get many opportunities to do this and I don’t know when I’ll get the chance to pull on a Maroon jumper again.
“That’s exactly how I’m going to play it.”© AAP 2013
The Roar is giving you the chance to win 1 of 19 prize packs to Australian Open 2014! Each lucky winner will receive four evening tickets to Rod Laver Arena, plus access to 3 hours in the Heineken VIP Bar. Enter here.