South Sydney Rabbitohs captain Greg Inglis has announced his immediate retirement from the NRL at a press conference on Monday morning.
Inglis, who was formerly going to play until the end of the 2020 NRL season, has been having shoulder problems this season and hasn’t taken the field since Round 2 when the South Sydney Rabbitohs beat the St George Illawarra Dragons.
It’s understood Inglis has barely been able to lift his arm above shoulder height in recent weeks and will continue to work with the club in an off-field capacity over the coming years.
Inglis, while clearly emotional, said it was the right time and recognised the career he had.
“What a career,” said Inglis.
“I think it’s time and it’s the right decision for myself. I’ve been contemplating it for a while. My body hasn’t given up on me, but it’s the right time to retire.”
It has recently been revealed that the 32-year-old has been struggling with arthritis in his shoulder, a condition that can’t be resolved through medical intervention.
“It flares up and it goes from bad to good to worse. (It’s) unpredictable, all over the shop with it,” said Rabbitohs coach Wayne Bennett.
“At the moment he can’t raise it above his head or a little away from his body as he tries to raise it. The signs aren’t good.
“Surgery won’t fix it. That’s the issue.”
Inglis, who was contracted until the end of the 2020 season, will reportedly sacrifice more than $1.5 million on his contract to prevent his club bearing the salary cap burden.
Inglis began his career with the Melbourne Storm and was a part of the side that won two grand finals in 2007 and 2009 only to later have them stripped due to salary cap breaches.
He moved to the South Sydney Rabbitohs at the end of the 2010 season and has since played 146 matches for the cardinal and myrtle, for a total of 263 career games.
Inglis was part of the 2014 drought-breaking Rabbitohs premiership side and became captain of the club ahead of the 2016 season.
He has also made 32 appearances for the Queensland Maroons, part of a golden era that saw him take part in no less than 11 winning series, and captained the side in 2018.
Inglis was also capped 38 times at international level and was part of Australia’s 2013 World Cup winning side.