Greg Inglis is no stranger to big games, but he says Sunday’s grand final against Canterbury is up there with the biggest of his NRL career.
Experienced campaigner Greg Inglis says South Sydney’s buzzing youngsters are helping to keep him relaxed ahead of what he says is among the biggest games of his storied NRL career.
Sunday’s grand final against Canterbury at ANZ Stadium will be the superstar fullback’s fifth in just the last nine years.
He played in all four of Melbourne’s deciders between 2006 and 2009 – losing to Brisbane and Manly but winning the other two.
While the Storm’s 2007 and 2009 premierships were later stripped by the NRL for salary cap breaches, Inglis said he still holds close the memories of the victories in what’s been a career of big matches.
In addition to his 200 senior appearances, Inglis was part of Queensland’s State of Origin squad in each of their eight straight series wins and has 29 Test caps to his name for Australia.
Asked on Monday where this year’s showdown ranked, Inglis said it was “definitely up there”.
“I think it will be one of the biggest games I’ve come into,” he said.
“The build-up towards it, there’s no question about it.
“Leading into the this week and playing this grand final means a lot to me.
“And it means a lot to the community.
“Seeing the fans travel from afar and come here to watch us train throughout the year really means a lot to us as players.”
Inglis said he was feeding off the excitement from his younger teammates experiencing it for the first time.
“Coming into training the young boys are happy, buzzing around – which is really good to see because it helps me sit back and relax as well,” he said.
“I’m just having a relaxed approach and really enjoy the week.
“We’re lucky and fortunate enough to be in this position – we’ve worked hard all year for it.
“But we still haven’t achieved anything yet.”
Inglis allayed any concerns about his hip which troubled him during the Rabbitohs’ last regular-season match against the Sydney Roosters.
“The body’s feeling fine,” he said.
“This is the best shape I’ve been in for a long time. I’m holding up fine and I think having that week off really paid off.”
Inglis said he fully expected injured Bulldogs skipper Michael Ennis to play in Sunday’s season finale despite fracturing his foot.
“I’m pretty sure it’ll take a lot more than a foot injury to keep Michael Ennis out of a big stage,” he added.