GREG Inglis will miss Australia’s Test matches against New Zealand and Tonga after being suspended for two matches following charges of drink driving and speeding.
Inglis fronted the media on Tuesday to address the incident which occurred on Monday afternoon, hours after his appointment as Australia skipper.
While the 31-year-old was apologetic, he refused to stand down from his newly appointed role, instead leaving the decision up to coach Mal Meninga and NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg.
The duo responded two hours later by standing down Inglis from the end of season games. They also praised the South Sydney and Queensland captain for taking full responsibility.
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“Greg is not just a great player, he is one of our best role models, but he made a poor decision on this occasion,” Greenberg said.
“He deserves full credit for being upfront today by apologising and taking full ownership of his mistake.
“It is a mark of the man that he has accepted responsibility for his actions and I have no doubt he will overcome this setback and retain his status as a true leader in our game.”
Meninga said Inglis would be welcomed back into the squad in 2019.
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“I hope to see him back in a Kangaroos jersey next year,” Meninga said.
“Greg has been an integral part of the team for many years and I expect him to be back.
“No one respects those values more than Greg and we look forward to him returning to the team next year.
“Greg was in fact an integral part of the creation of the RISE (Respect, Inspire, Selfless, Excellence) values.
“As a result he’s accepted the penalty and I think he has shown real leadership by the way he has been accountable for his actions.”
Inglis was charged with mid-range drink driving and speeding by NSW Police just outside of Lithgow on Monday afternoon while returning to Sydney from the Koori Knockout.
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The powerhouse centre said he had a few drinks the night before but felt fine to drive when he left Dubbo at midday.
Inglis said after playing in the Koori Knockout in Dubbo he went back to his hotel between 11pm and 1am, and left for Sydney at midday despite feeling fine to drive.
“I’m sincerely apologetic,” Inglis said.
“Hopefully it gets sorted and we can move on from this.
“My status in this game and where I am as a person around this community, it’s not good enough and if anything is to come out of this, it’s a lesson that everyone should learn and take away from this.”