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GI: I need to earn back respect to regain Kangaroos berth

If Greg Inglis gets his wish he will end his stellar representative career with his 40th appearance in a Kangaroos jersey.

Inglis announced in the off-season that 2019 would be his last playing for Queensland and Australia. He will then play his final NRL season in 2020 with the South Sydney Rabbitohs.

He has already missed out on a sixth Indigenous All Stars jumper due to a late start to his preparations because of off-season surgeries.

However, the 32-year-old is on course to play his last three Origin games in June and July, taking him to a tally of 35.

Then he is aiming to regain his spot in the Australian team for the October end-of-season internationals. He currently sits on 39 caps with Reg Gasnier and Johnny Raper.

But first Inglis knows he has work to do in restoring his standing in the game.

Being charged with drink-driving and speeding last October led to Inglis losing the Test captaincy and missing the New Zealand and Tonga games last year.

His final court appearance was in January where Inglis was handed an 18-month good behaviour bond.

Greg Inglis representing Australia against New Zealand.
Greg Inglis representing Australia against New Zealand. ©NRL Photos

"I need to get the respect of my peers and the younger generation coming through," Inglis said.

"[Test coach] Mal [Meninga] always said he would pick the people in the best form and in their best position.

"I've obviously got to earn that respect back from Mal, the NRL and from the selectors as well."

Inglis will have competition. Premiership-winning fullback James Tedesco is the incumbent No.1 while Latrell Mitchell, Will Chambers and perhaps James Roberts might have something to say about the centre positions.

"Look in the end it’s what Mal wants, and the selectors want, and I'll just go with that," said Inglis, who nonetheless is lethal in any Australian line-up. He has 31 tries in his 39 games so far.

But his brush with the law recently has given him insight to what the public and the game's hierarchy expect from players.

The spate of bad behaviour makes Inglis determined to do what he can as a statesman of the game.

"As senior players in the game I think we need to educate the generations coming through," he said.

"The RLPA is doing what they can to help players out. They are going around the clubs and talking about player behaviour.

"We shouldn't be talking about this. We should be talking about games coming up, guys playing important trials. But before we know it we will be talking about round one and not the off-field dramas.

Rabbitohs star Greg Inglis.
Rabbitohs star Greg Inglis. ©NRL Photos

"I've been through it … that kind of ordeal. I've had my punishment handed to me and I've accepted it.

"As I've said before I have to earn respect back from the members, the fans of the game, form the game itself, my teammates and peers.

"I'm really working on myself and making the right choices.

"So whatever the NRL and ARL Commission comes up with next week [meeting on February 28],  they're the ones which set the rules, who run the game so that's what we'll be doing."

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