Hodges says GI could walk - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hodges says GI could walk

Wayne Heming 03/11/2010 06:54:07 PM Comments (0)

Brisbane centre Justin Hodges has slammed the treatment of Greg Inglis, saying he wouldn't blame the Melbourne superstar if he walked away from rugby league.

Having already seen his best mate Karmichael Hunt and more recently Israel Folau leave league to accept big-money AFL deals, Hodges is worried Inglis's battle to gain a clearance from the Storm to join Brisbane could see him become a free agent if things drag on much longer.

Melbourne have given Inglis permission to do pre-season training with Brisbane until his dispute over a legal bill is resolved.

But because of conditions placed on him while he does, he's understood to be feeling like an outcast, failing to appear at either of Brisbane's two training sessions this week.

"The way he's being treated at the moment he could walk away from the game altogether," said Hodges, who believes the same situation would not happen in AFL or rugby union.

"It's something you don't want, a guy like that leaving our game which would hurt a lot.

"It's something we (rugby league) have to sharpen up on.

"We all just wish they (Melbourne and the NRL) could get their stuff sorted out so Greg can come to training and not have to hide away."

Hodges spent Tuesday with Inglis after the Australian star failed to show up at Brisbane training on Monday because he felt "uncomfortable" with his current situation.

"I was with him yesterday and he was feeling pretty down about it all," revealed Hodges.

"He's had a shoulder reconstruction and he needs to be back working on that now and getting it ready for round one."

Hodges, who's well on the road to a full recovery from an Achilles injury which prevented him playing a minute of football in 2010, has a lot to gain with Inglis replacing Folau as his centre partner next season.

But of more concern than his foot injury was the lack of support Inglis had received from the NRL and to some extent Melbourne.

Meanwhile, Hodges said heand Inglis - who has scored 78 tries in 117 games for Melbourne and 25 more for Queensland and Australia in 29 games - could be "something special" if they team up for the Broncos next season.

"We only get the chance to play together a few times (Origin and Tests) and we haven't done that for a while," he said.

"To be able to play with GI every week, that's going to be something special."

Hodges, who once held the tag as the world's best centre, predicted Kempsey-born Inglis could take his game to another level playing outside Darren Lockyer.

"Playing with Locky and Wal (Peter Wallace) and Sammy (Sam Thaiday) is going to suit him," he said.

Hodges and Brisbane teammate Jharal Yow Yeh helped launch a Federal Government-funded and Bronco-backed mentoring program for teenage indigenous students in the Ipswich area.

Along with former Broncos Michael De Vere and Michael Hancock, they aim to help students with their motivation, self-esteem and career prospects.

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