Inglis agrees to long-term Storm deal - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Inglis agrees to long-term Storm deal

By Guy Hand 10/09/2008 07:34:10 PM Comments (0)

Melbourne Storm superstar Greg Inglis has turned his back on $1 million a year offers to remain loyal to his code, his club and his family.

Rugby league's hottest property gave the code a much-needed shot in the arm by agreeing to a contract extension to remain with NRL premiers until the end of 2012.

The deal is rumoured to be worth around $2 million over the next four years.

Inglis admitted he had received overseas offers of around $1 million a season.

But the big sweetener to remain with the Storm was worth much less financially and much more emotionally.

The club agreed to help move Inglis' parents from Bowraville on the NSW mid-north coast to Melbourne to be closer to their son - just days after Inglis' father Wade Blair suffered a heart attack which left him hospitalised.

Storm coach Craig Bellamy and Inglis had discussed his father's health, with Bellamy sowing the seed that perhaps the club could help make life easier for all.

"About three or four weeks ago he came into my office and said there were a few things going on, so we had a bit of a chat and I said `you have to decide whether you want to live here, or live somewhere else'," Bellamy said.

That talk, and his father's weekend collapse, led to the 21-year-old telling manager Allan Gainey to raise the issue of bringing his parents to Melbourne with Storm chief executive Brian Waldron.

"I asked my manager to put it on the table (moving his parents)," Inglis said.

"There was no second guessing about it. He (Waldron) said `yes' straight away."

Instead of following Sonny Bill Williams, Mark Gasnier and Craig Gower out of league to rugby union, Inglis has decided to remain faithful to both the code and the club which developed him from a raw teenager into arguably the game's most exciting player.

Inglis said he was never seriously considering quitting for the big money on offer in French rugby union, saying: "If I went over to France, I'd probably be back in two weeks."

"I'm definitely happy with the deal. I got offers from overseas - I could have earned over a mill a season - but I didn't want to take those offers.

"I love it down here, and I want to be around this bunch of people (at the Storm).

"Financially it's quite good, and it will probably set me up for good."

Waldron said Inglis had signed for less than he could have received at other clubs and in union.

"It is commensurate with his status in the game, but the money available overseas and outside Melbourne was greater, but he made sacrifices for his long-term future," Waldron said.

"It's a great thing for the Melbourne Storm, it's a great thing for rugby league more than anything."

NRL boss David Gallop said Inglis' commitment showed rugby league still had the power to keep its star talent.

"It is pleasing he's re-signed but he made it very clear from a while back that he loves rugby league and obviously it's evidence of the special bond that the Melbourne Storm players have got," Gallop said.

"Our game is a very attractive option and more players are going to re-sign than not."

Inglis now joins halfback Cooper Cronk, lock Dallas Johnson and winger Anthony Quinn among a host of players to have agreed long-term deals with the Storm this year.

The club is still negotiating with captain and hooker Cameron Smith, whose contract expires at the end of next season.

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