NRL legend Greg Inglis, 32, announces shock retirement after long battle with depression – walking away from $1.5M contract to focus on ‘enjoying life’
- Greg Inglis has announced his retirement from the NRL, effective immediately
- South Sydney star met with coach Wayne Bennett and officials on Monday
- He stressed injuries and recent mental issues weren’t a factor in his decision
- Inglis, who hasn’t played since round two, has played 263 NRL games since 2005
One of the greatest NRL players of the modern era has blown the full-time whistle on his NRL career, effective immediately.
Greg Inglis, 32, has announced his from the game after an an illustrious career spanning 16 seasons, two years earlier than originally planned.
He stressed to reporters on Monday his premature retirement is not due to mental illness or injuries after meeting with Wayne Bennett and club officials to discuss his future.
Greg Inglis was pictured arriving at South Sydney Rabbitohs headquarters on Monday
I just think it is time and the right decision for myself and I have been contemplating it for a while now,’ Inglis said.
‘I’ve come to terms with it and it is what it is but I probably won’t hit until I see the boys training and running in a few months’ time. ‘
‘There is no regrets but most important thing that my career off the field is just starting now.’
Greg Inglis (pictured) confirmed on Monday he’s played his last game in the NRL
The Queensland Origin captain hadn’t played since round two in March as he continued to struggle with ongoing chronic shoulder and knee injuries.
Inglis confirmed he’ll remain involved in the NRL off the field and is expected to be offered a part-time ambassador-type role at the Rabbitohs.
Inglis is on a rumoured $1 million-a-season contract and has been paid six months of his 2019 contract, The Daily Telegraph reported.
In a selfless move, the indigenous star is reportedly willing to sacrifice the $1.5 million owed to him so that his team can try to acquire another player.
NRL superstar Greg Inglis (pictured with a friend) is expected to announce an early retirement
Ongoing injuries and recent mental issues have taken their toll on Inglis, pictured on Monday
Coach Wayne Bennett told The Sunday Mail on Saturday he has ‘enormous respect for him… but most of us don’t do sad well and Greg certainly doesn’t do sad well’.
‘He is getting around sad and we’re all trying to help him at Souths. He needs to make the decision that is going to take him out of that sad place.’
He added that players of Inglis’ calibre struggle to deal with life after the game.
‘There is so much pressure on the champions because these guys are so great at what they do. There is so much pressure. They are so proud of their performances. They hate failure,’ Bennett said.
‘Greg is a classic case. He gets to this point in his life where he is scared. They all try to hang on. They have never worked in the workplace.
‘Post-football Greg has no idea what he will do. They don’t plan for this day (of retirement)… that day is not in their diary.’
Coach Wayne Bennett arrives at club headquarters on Monday for a meeting with Inglis
Greg Inglis burst onto the NRL scene in 2005 as a teenager playing for Melbourne Storm
Inglis entered himself into a mental health facility in 2017 to help with his depression, and acknowledged he would need to ‘continue therapy’.
‘I have people I can have a chat to when I’m feeling a bit down. You’ve got to continue the therapy. You’re never out of it, even though you think you’re fine. I think you’ve still got to continue it and that’s what I’m doing,’ he said.
The Rabbitohs captain was handed an 18-month conditional release order when he pleaded guilty to drink driving after he was caught driving 99km/h in an 80km/h zone near Lithgow last October.
It’s understood the father-of-two also recently split from his wife of eight years Sally Robinson.
Born and raised on the NSW mid north coast, Inglis was 18 when he made his NRL debut for Melbourne Storm in 2005, where he spent six seasons before heading to Sydney to join the Rabbitohs in 2011, where he won a premiership in 2014.
Inglis has played 263 NRL games and scored 149 tries.
He has also 32 Origins for the Maroons and represented Australia on 39 occasions since 2006.
Greg Inglis (pictured in 2006) was originally due to retire at the end of the 2020 season