RUGBY LEAGUE: Rabbitohs coach Michael Maguire says Aboriginal superstar Greg Inglis’ incredible size and strength at fullback is changing the way the game is played.
Inglis has been a revelation at the back since Maguire picked him in the Rabbitohs No.1 jersey upon arriving at Redfern at the start of the season.
And the Maroons superstar showed how devastating he can be at fullback with another stunning performance in place of the injured Billy Slater in the State of Origin decider.
Maguire said he was not surprised that Inglis has adapted so easily to the demands of fullback but was impressed by his efforts there nonetheless.
“He has such athleticism and speed and he is able to utilise that so effectively,” Maguire said.
“The way he brings the ball back so strongly gives the frontrowers a great platform to work from and he also attracts a lot of defenders which can open the game up for those around him.
“Greg’s size and strength is adding such excitement there at fullback. He is changing the way the game is played.”
Inglis was granted leave from the Rabbitohs camp after a death in the family in the lead up to Sunday’s match against Newcastle at ANZ Stadium.
Maguire said far from looking for a rest from an arduous Origin campaign Inglis was loving his football as much as ever.
“He is really enjoying it at the moment and really wants to keep that going,” Maguire said.
“All the hard work he has been putting in is paying off. He brings a lot of excitement, a lot of life to the group and Greg is a really positive influence to have around.”
The Rabbitohs, who look likely to play finals football for just the second time since 1987, face a resurgent Newcastle outfit buoyed by successive wins over Wests and Parramatta.
“They are an experienced group with the likes of (Willie) Mason, (Danny) Buderus and (Timana) Tahu there and any team that boasts those players is going to be a difficult one to nullify,” Maguire said.