Roosters wary of rested Inglis - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Roosters wary of rested Inglis

Steve Jancetic 09/03/2011 06:09:42 PM Comments (0)

The Sydney Roosters fear Greg Inglis' six-month spell on the sidelines could have South Sydney's star recruit primed for a blockbuster performance in Friday night's NRL season-opening local derby.

In what amounts to the longest break of Inglis' short but spectacular top-grade career, the off-season's most prized signing will take to the field for his new club having not played since his farewell appearance for Melbourne in last year's final round of the regular season.

With the Storm having been a regular in finals and Inglis a fixture in end-of-season Australian teams before missing last year's Four Nations campaign due to injury, the 187-day break between games is new ground for the 24-year-old.

But the Roosters have dismissed any notion of a rusty Inglis at the Sydney Football Stadium on Friday night, with the 2007 Clive Churchill medallist renowned for his performances on the biggest stage.

"He does come in maybe a touch underdone but he's a big-game player," Roosters skipper Braith Anasta said.

"You watch all the big games he's played in Origin, Australia, he's always stood up when it counts.

"This is a big game for him, his first game for Souths, and we'd expect him to stand up and play well."

One player who has seen Inglis' ability to lift at close range is Queensland Origin teammate Nate Myles, who is wary of underestimating the freakishly talented centre's ability to jump out of the blocks.

Inglis reported to pre-season training at Redfern out of shape after an off-season blighted by injury and protracted contract negotiations, but the latest reports indicate he is nearing his best.

"I haven't seen Greggy for a while so I don't really go off what you see in the papers ... I'll wait until I see him in person,' Myles said.

"I'm sure he's going to come out and be ready on Friday. Knowing Greggy he will want to make a good impression for his first game."

That means a busy night is in store for Roosters opposite Shaun Kenny-Dowall in what will be his first head-to-head clash with Inglis after the former Storm star missed last year's meeting with the Roosters due to Origin commitments.

"It's a big challenge for Shaun to play against GI," Anasta said.

"He's the best centre in the game and I think he's got a bit to prove."

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