South Sydney NRL player Greg Inglis announces his retirement during a press conference at Redfern Oval, Sydney. Picture: Brett Costello
South Sydney NRL player Greg Inglis announces his retirement during a press conference at Redfern Oval, Sydney. Picture: Brett Costello Brett Costello

Inglis's retirement will leave hole in the game for all

OPINION: I wonder what Queensland Maroons coach Kevin Walters is thinking about right now, heading into this year's State of Origin series.

The retirement of Greg Inglis yesterday left Walters searching for his third captain in three years and without anyone from the dominant Queensland sides of the past decade.

Inglis was the last from the 2006 side that played last year.

With his retirement, he joins Billy Slater, Cameron Cronk, Cameron Smith, Johnathan Thurston and Sam Thaiday that led Queensland to eight titles.

Only Matt Scott, if he is recalled after two years of not playing Origin, can provide someone from that dominant time, but he's not in the form to be selected.

There are now many questions that Walters needs answers to.

Who will captain the side? Who will replace Inglis, Valentine Holmes and Slater as backs? Who will potentially replace others, including Coen Hess, who are not in form?

Walters has some headaches ahead of him.

The captaincy should be simple.

Matt Gillett would be the person I'd give the captaincy to.

Other players, including Daly Cherry-Evans, Josh McGuire, Gavin Cooper and Dane Gagai, should be in contention but none really stand out as a captain.

Making Cherry-Evans captain would put too much pressure on him to perform at his best.

Walters would want him playing at his best, like game three in 2018, as he could be the key between winning and losing.

Giving the captaincy to Gillett would do two things.

It would take away the stress from others and give the forwards a person to look out for.

Queensland lost last year's series on the back of an inexperienced pack.

Having Gillett as leader, like Boyd Cordner for New South Wales, could galvanise and create better performances.

It will be hard to replace Inglis for the Maroons, just like it will be for South Sydney.

The Bunnies centre was one of the most explosive in the game and his tries will forever be in the highlights reel.

The 2014 NRL grand final winning try for South Sydney, the 80m try against the Brisbane Broncos four years ago and the centenary game try for the Kangaroos at the Sydney Cricket Ground will always be remembered.

There are dozens more.

He retires leaving everything on the table and that is all you can ask of players.



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