Superstar Greg Inglis has given no guarantees over his NRL future but Kangaroos skipper Cameron Smith is convinced he will stay in league.
No guarantees have been given by Greg Inglis but Kangaroos captain Cameron Smith is convinced the South Sydney superstar will end his career in the NRL.
Inglis is expected to be the next NRL poster boy targeted by rival sports after Jarryd Hayne’s sensational decision to try his hand at NFL.
It emerged Inglis was offered more than $2 million a year by the French Rugby Union earlier this season but knocked it back because he wanted to focus on a premiership with the Rabbitohs.
Now that he has helped to break South Sydney’s 43-year title drought and seen Hayne make a bold call, there are fears Inglis might become the latest big name to abandon the NRL.
It would be a devastating blow for a code that is also reeling from the defection of Sonny Bill Williams and Sam Burgess to rugby.
And Inglis would not have eased any nerves at NRL headquarters when he spoke of his future as the Kangaroos assembled on Friday at their Four Nations camp in Brisbane.
“My future is in rugby league for now but doors are always there to be opened to see what is on the other side,” he said.
“I put everything on hold to concentrate on the ultimate goal of winning a premiership with the Bunnies.
“Now I will keep my options open.
“I would like to say I would see my career out in rugby league but who knows?”
However, Inglis – who has two years left on his South Sydney deal – vowed not to break his NRL contract to pursue other sports.
He said if lured away from league, it would be for the challenge – not money.
“I take my hat off to Jarryd. It will be sad to see him go,” Inglis said.
“People have thrown my name out there but I have never broken a contract and I don’t intend to start now.”
Smith firmly believed his Queensland and Test teammate would finish his career in the NRL.
“The bloke I know, I don’t think he will leave – he loves the game,” Smith told AAP.
“He is in a really good space at the moment.
“His wife just had a baby.
“I don’t think he is going to uproot, go to the other side of the world and play a game he has never played before.
“He loves the NRL and living in Australia – let’s hope he stays.”
Kangaroos coach Tim Sheens did not want to dwell on Hayne’s departure or the prospect of rival sports snaring the likes of Inglis.
“We have seen it with AFL, French rugby, Japanese rugby, who knows who are after them,” he said.
“But there have been some champion players not playing any more we thought we would never replace – Joey (Andrew) Johns and these sorts of people.
“But others have come in and equalled if not surpassed what the others have done.
“There is always a generation of players coming through.”