Maroons star plays down comparison to legends
CHAMPION centre Greg Inglis admits he is embarrassed by the accolades flowing his way faster than State of Origin tries.
With the quietly spoken 27 year-old gearing up for his 22nd and most emotional game as Queensland retires the No.11 jumper of his mentor and father figure Arthur Beetson for tomorrow night's 100th Origin clash with NSW - talk has again surfaced that Inglis will end his playing career as revered as Wally Lewis or Andrew Johns.
Paul Vautin, a former Queensland teammate of Lewis, and the man who orchestrated and inspired Origin's greatest upset as coach of 1995's "Neville Nobodies", boldly predicted several years ago that Inglis would close his career on the same lofty footing as Queensland great Mal Meninga - the man now guiding him to Origin greatness.
Inglis shies away from the comparisons, but his magnificent record backs up and supports views that history will record him as one of he true greats of rugby league.
"It's all just talk," Inglis (pictured) told APN when asked about his place in the game and if he though he could leave a Beetson-like legacy of his own. "What makes me a great player is the people around me, who challenge me week in and week out.
"At club level I have blokes like Sam Burgess and Johnny Sutton asking me to do stuff for the team every weekend. When you come into the Aussie team it's blokes like Cameron Smith and Billy Slater who I used to play with in Melbourne, asking the same from me."
Like any other player, Inglis said he feels the pressure to be a game-breaker and match-winner for whichever team he plays for.
"It's not an easy road to travel down but once you go down it, you have so many demands on you and if you don't deliver, you're letting your teammates down," he said. "I will leave it others (to judge me as a player). I just love rugby league and it's the people around me who made me who I am."