AUSTRALIAN superstar Greg Inglis was planning to return his childhood club on the NSW North Coast for a season before Warrington swooped to make the shock signing.
Inglis, 33, has agreed to come out of retirement for Super League side Warrington next year in a shock development that was confirmed by his new management company, Rich Digital and shortly afterwards by the club.
It’s understood the announcement would have come earlier but for visa issues which needed sorting out.
Rich Digital said in a statement: “Rich Digital would like to congratulate Greg Inglis on signing with the @warringtonrlfc for the 2021 Super League Season.
“Best of luck Greg! We will continue to work closely with Greg, Brand G.I., and The Goanna Academy whilst he is in England.”
Inglis, who played 38 Tests for Australia between 2006 and 2016, told the Warrington website: “I can’t wait to get over there and play for a club that has so much rich heritage. I’ve seen the success the team have had in the Challenge Cup and I want to help the team to deliver more glory.
📞 Calling all Warrington fans
— Warrington Wolves (@WarringtonRLFC) May 19, 2020
Former South Sydney CEO Shane Richardson, a partner in Rich Digital with his son Brent, tells rugbyleaguehub.com: “Greg came to me a little while ago and said he was feeling good and wanted to go around with Macksville for a season.
“I said ‘Macksville? I think you could do something a bit more high profile’.
“I have a good relationship with Simon Moran and Karl Fitzpatrick at Warrington so I made a few calls and it went from there.”
“I’ve played over in England many times in representative footy and love how passionate and vocal the supporters are.
“To get the opportunity to live in the UK, to play for such a powerhouse club that I believe is on the rise is something I’m looking forward to and hopefully I can add value to the team.”
Coach Steve Price added: “Greg is a world class athlete and has received the highest honours within our game.
“Having had 12 months out of the sport he has had time to refresh both mentally and physically, and he is focussed on having a positive influence on Warrington Wolves.
“I’m looking forward to working with him on a professional and personal level, and I’m excited to welcome him into our group.”
Fitzpatrick, the CEO, was also quoted in the announcement story, saying: “This signing is a gift to every one of our fantastic members and partners who are currently experiencing difficult times.
“We wanted to give everyone something to look forward to and to say thank you for their extraordinary loyalty. With this in mind we were extra motivated to get this deal completed.
“Greg is considered to be one of the greatest Rugby League players of the modern era. To see him pull on the primrose and blue will be a historical moment in Warrington Wolves and Super League’s timeline.”
if current contracts are honoured, next year’s Super League will feature genuinely iconic players Inglis, Sonny Bill Williams and Israel Folau.
Inglis was granted a medical retirement, with attendant salary cap concessions, by the NRL after announcing on April 19, 2019 he would cease playing.