Greg Inglis is keen to lead the Maroons. (Photo: Mark Evans)
Greg Inglis is keen to lead the Maroons. (Photo: Mark Evans)

Inglis ready to take Maroons reins from Smith

GREG Inglis has declared he is ready to succeed Cameron Smith as Queensland captain and lead the depleted Maroons through their most turbulent period in a decade.

Speaking for the first time about his Maroons' captaincy prospects since Smith's shock representative retirement, Inglis said it would be an honour to lead Queensland in Origin I at the MCG on June 6.

Inglis will record a special personal milestone in the series opener with the Souths giant to play his 31st Origin match - equalling Maroons icon Wally Lewis on the list of all-time appearances.

Queensland coach Kevin Walters is facing the side's greatest leadership crisis since their dynasty began in 2006 with his senior nucleus decimated by the loss of Smith, Johnathan Thurston and Cooper Cronk.

Inglis is a frontrunner to replace Smith and the 30-game veteran said he won't fail Queensland if he is installed as their 13th skipper - and the Maroons' first indigenous captain in 15 years.

Queensland have had just three Origin indigenous skippers; Arthur Beetson, Mal Meninga and Gorden Tallis.

"If it does come around, it would be a great honour and privilege," Inglis said.

 

No player is beloved like Inglis.
No player is beloved like Inglis.

"There has been some great captains in the past.

"Cameron Smith was there for a long time and before him 'Locky' (Broncos legend Darren Lockyer).

"That comes down to where I learnt leadership from, is from those two guys (Smith and Lockyer) in that Origin arena."

New Rabbitohs coach Anthony Seibold was a Maroons assistant to Walters during last year's epic come-from-behind series defeat of the Blues.

Seibold's tenure at the Rabbitohs has given him an insight into Inglis and why he is ready to skipper Queensland in the post-Smith era.

"I would endorse Greg to be the captain of the (Queensland) team," he said.

"Kevvie and the Queensland selectors will make the right decision.

"Everyone knows what I think of Greg. He is a terrific leader at our club, he has been a tremendous help to me in my first year as a head coach.

Greg Inglis speaks to the media after South Sydney’s win over the Cowboys.
Greg Inglis speaks to the media after South Sydney’s win over the Cowboys.

"I'm really fortunate to have Greg as a captain, I'd love to see him lead his state. But his focus is on the Rabbitohs for one more week before Origin.

"We have the Warriors next week and then I'm sure Greg will be keen to jump into the Origin camp."

Maroons teammate Michael Morgan, rated a possible future club and Origin captain, backed Inglis to thrive as a Maroons skipper.

"Greg would do a very good job," he said.

"I'm not too sure who they will go with, but 'GI' would get my support. It's just the aura he has around the team and the respect he gets from everyone.

"He is someone who has already led by his actions and the boys will play for him. He's been a great captain at Souths so it wouldn't surprise me if he was chosen."



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