Inglis unfazed by English recruitment
Rabbitohs and Prime Minister's XIII captain Greg Inglis isn't worried by talk England coach Wayne Bennett could recruit Australian NRL players for the end of year Four Nations tournament – while his Rabbitohs teammate, England Test prop George Burgess, remained tight-lipped on the issue.
There have been reports suggesting Bennett may try and lure England-eligible NRL players like Brett and Josh Morris and Knights half Trent Hodkinson to the England set-up. Manly prop Darcy Lussick recently confirmed his interest in making himself available for England, though late-season shoulder surgery has likely quashed that dream for now.
Inglis himself will have a busy post-season with his partner Sally expecting a baby in between Inglis's Prime Minister's XIII captaincy debut in Port Moresby on September 24, and a Four Nations pre-tournament Test in Perth on October 15.
"I think what Wayne's done is great for international league," Inglis said of Bennett's coaching record.
"He's done assistant Kiwis and he's the head coach [of England] now. I think if he wants to poach potentially Australian English players then go for it."
Burgess – who is hoping to make the team after coming back from major hip-surgery two months ago – was reluctant to tell the new coach how to do his job.
"I don't know. I don't know what the go is there. I'll let him coach the side!" Burgess laughed of any possible international poaching raids.
"I'm not sure what the ins and outs of the rules are to be honest but we've seen Semi Radradra play for Australia so anything can happen."
It's questionable how much England will need to scout further recruits given the form of some of their locally based players with Sam Burgess, James Graham, and Raiders hooker Josh Hodgson among the form players in the competition.
"It's great to see the English boys doing well out here. Elliott Whitehead and Josh Hodgson doing great things at Canberra and obviously James Graham's always the heart and soul of the Bulldogs so it's great for our international game I think."
Burgess said he felt like he was getting back to his best form post-surgery.
"It's been getting better every week. After the operation it's been about seven games now so it's been feeling good and hopefully I keep improving," he said.
Of his own Four Nations hopes, Burgess added: "If I get picked then I'd love to represent England and hopefully I'll be feeling good for it."
Inglis, who is hoping to finish the season on a high after both he and the Rabbitohs returned to peak form in recent weeks, is proud to have the chance to lead the PM's XIII in this year's annual fixture.
"It's a great honour. I think all captains in the NRL would say it's a great honour being chosen as a captain by the club and by your peers and to get the phone call and be asked to lead the Prime Minister's XIII out is a big honour for me," Inglis said.
His family news only made the off-season bigger but the 29-year-old was hoping not to miss any football.
"I'll be here, the baby's due before the Perth game so we'll wait and see. If I do miss the Perth game at least I've got the Prime Minister's under my belt," he added.