Inglis to join Broncos next season - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Inglis to join Broncos next season

By Wayne Heming 10/08/2010 06:43:14 PM Comments (0)

In the end, Greg Inglis made the final play.

While Melbourne revealed they could have kept their superstar and still got back under the NRL salary cap next year, Inglis is heading to Brisbane to play for the Broncos and be closer to fiancee Sally Robinson.

"If we were purely cold and clinical and commercial then we probably would have kept him," said recently appointed Storm boss Ron Gauci.

"But it's not about being cold and clinical.

"We're looking at players' livelihoods here and their own personal circumstances.

"... This would have had an impact on other players and other players' careers."

Shattered coach Craig Bellamy desperately wanted Inglis to stay in Storm colours and the club did everything in its power to make it happen - everything except change his mind and, more importantly, his heart.

Once all the cards were put on the table, Inglis wanted to play for the Broncos and spend more time with Robinson, who lives and works in Brisbane.

Like an edge-of-your-seat game, Inglis produced the big play, forcing Melbourne to grant him a release from the final two years of his contract.

The upside for the Storm is, after releasing Inglis and prop Brett White who will join Canberra, the club will now be able to sign new players and still be salary cap-compliant in 2011, allowing them to again accrue competition points.

Bellamy made no secret of his desire to hold onto his Fab Four of skipper Cameron Smith, Billy Slater, Cooper Cronk and Inglis.

"(Bellamy's) preferred option was he wanted Greg in the side," said Gauci.

"Having said that, for us to continue to be competitive down the track and to retain an onfield balance, he also knew that if we were going to secure some ongoing success that maybe there was an opportunity to bring in new blood.

"The buffer we now have in the salary cap allows us to go back into the market and acquire new players and (Bellamy) is excited by that opportunity.

"(If we had retained Inglis) we would either have lost quite a number of players or some high-value players in small numbers.

"Either way it was going to seriously impact the team and we didn't want to do that to Melbourne Storm going forward."

Brisbane sent contracts to Inglis on Tuesday afternoon after receiving an e-mail from Melbourne at 1.41pm notifying them of his release.

"We immediately got in touch with his manager (Allan Gainey) who confirmed back to us by e-mail that Greg had accepted our terms," said Broncos chief executive Bruno Cullen.

"He hasn't signed yet but he's definitely agreed to terms."

Changes to salary cap conditions to be introduced in 2011 played a part in Brisbane being able to offer Inglis more money on Monday without actually changing their original base offer of around $400,000.

Contrary to some reports, Inglis may not topple skipper Darren Lockyer as Brisbane's highest paid player.

However, if his agent is good at his job, he could attract some hefty third party deals which would ensure he remains one of the game's biggest earners.

Cullen would not go into specifics but conceded the landscape covering players' earnings under the salary cap had changed dramatically, which worked in Brisbane's favour.

Cullen denied Inglis's signing would infuriate Storm fans and further strain relations which soured after Brisbane upset Melbourne in the 2006 grand final.

"Fans always get angry, particularly the Melbourne mob," said Cullen.

"They're down there, they're isolated, they're Mexicans and everyone hates them, which is not true.

"We love Melbourne and we love them in the competition and we want them to be strong.

"Players change clubs and there shouldn't be any anger towards the Broncos.

"We never chased him or hunted him up or targeted him, he came to us."

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