South Sydney star Dane Gagai knows how intense Greg Inglis can be when he has a goal and has no doubt he can handle the rigours of rugby league again.
An excited Inglis called Gagai personally to share the news he would be coming out of retirement for Warrington in 2021 after a break from the sport.
Gagai said his former representative teammate was battered when he walked away from the game in 2019, but a 12-month rest from a 15-year NRL career is all he needed.
“He’s one of the most professional trainers, he works hard,” Gagai said when asked if he could physically handle a return.
“It’s funny. You forget his age because he’s been playing in the NRL for so long at such a high level, I just don’t think his body got a chance to have a break.
“He was always working hard and performing at an elite level and I think this time off has given him time to heal all those niggling injuries.
“I don’t think he would have signed if he didn’t think he could perform.”
At his peak, the 33-year-old was considered one of the best players in the world.
Inglis will be 34 when he joins a Wolves side that is home to Blake Austin, Gareth Widdop and former Rabbitohs forward Jason Clark.
Souths hooker Damien Cook said Inglis, who hasn’t played since March 21 last year, would sometimes step into opposed sessions earlier this season while working with the club.
Inglis, together with Sam Burgess and John Sutton, all hung up their boots last season but remain involved with the Rabbitohs in various capacities.
“We had a couple of sessions when he was between coaching and some stuff across the road before all this COVID stuff happened,” Cook told Big Sports Breakfast.
“There was a couple of times where he had to fill in on the reserve-grade side and you could see, especially with him, Sam and John Sutton, they all had itchy feet.
“He’s definitely still got the skills.”
Inglis is the latest in a string of high profile players to sign with Super League clubs, joining Sonny Bill Williams and Israel Folau.
Canberra half and former Super League star George Williamson says it’s exactly the boost the competition needs.
“They’re all superstars, globally, not just in Australia and England,” he said.
“I think the English game needs that, it needs a few superstars to bring people in from the outside who don’t normally watch it.
“That’s the biggest thing they’ll bring.”