Queensland coach Kevin Walters says Greg Inglis would be welcome to make a return to his Origin side.
Inglis, 33, announced on Tuesday that he would come out of retirement to take up a one-year deal with Super League club Warrington.
The former Souths and Melbourne champion played 32 games for the Maroons and won ten State of Origin series across his NRL career.
Describing Inglis as a great player, Walters told Fox League Live: “The door is always open for great Queenslanders if they ever want to come back and play, we never shut the door, that’s always our way.
GI returning to Super League!
Rugby League: Greg Inglis has announced he will come out of retirement to play in the English Super League with the Warrington Wolves for the 2021 season.
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“We dragged Arthur Beetson out of reserve grade at Parramatta at 35 years of age to lead Queensland out in the first-ever State of Origin.”
Alan Langer famously flew back from Warrington to help clinch the 2001 series for Queensland.
However, that avenue appears to have been closed in recent years with the NRL only allowing players registered in the NRL turn out in Origin.
The seeds for Inglis’ comeback were understood to have been planted last month following a conversation with former Rabbitohs teammate Jason Clark. Clark now plies his trade with the Wolves under coach Steve Price, who currently boasts a line-up that includes Gareth Widdop and Blake Austin.
“I can’t wait to get over there and play for a club that has so much rich heritage,” Inglis said in a statement.
Kevvie is pumped for Inglis!
State of Origin: Queensland Coach Kevin Walters joined the Fox League Live team and was clearly pumped up about the return of GI, saying there is always a place for him.
“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.”
Ex-Rabbitohs boss Shane Richardson revealed Inglis recently approached him about the possibility of a comeback.
Only it was with hometown club Macksville on the NSW far north coast.
“I said, ‘Macksville? I think you could do something a bit more high profile’,” Richardson told rugbyleaguehub.com.
South Sydney were never an option, given the controversial circumstances around his exit last year.
Despite being dogged by a litany of knee and shoulder issues late in his career, Inglis declared in his retirement announcement that injuries weren’t a factor.
“I’ve bounced back from many injuries before,” he said at the time.
“It wasn’t that. The way I see it, if I can’t go out 100 per cent, I wouldn’t be able to perform the best I can, that’s what I expect of myself as a leader.”
Because Inglis walked away from the final two of years of a lucrative contract, it freed up some serious money in the club’s salary cap.
Originally published as‘Door is always open’ for Origin return
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