SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 02: South Sydney Rabbitohs captain Greg Inglis speaks to the media during a press conference at Redfern Oval on October 2, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. Inglis was yesterday charged with a drink driving offence. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images) ***BESTPIX***
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 02: South Sydney Rabbitohs captain Greg Inglis speaks to the media during a press conference at Redfern Oval on October 2, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. Inglis was yesterday charged with a drink driving offence. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images) ***BESTPIX***

Meninga spills on Inglis return

GREG Inglis will be eligible to be returned to the Kangaroos captaincy as soon as next year after his first stint ended before it began on Tuesday.

Inglis was suspended for Australia's Tests against New Zealand and Tonga on Tuesday, after he was charged with mid-range drink driving and speeding just hours after his appointment was announced on Monday morning.

The 31-year-old was replaced as captain by Sydney Roosters premiership-winning skipper Boyd Cordner, who also led NSW to a rare State of Origin series victory this year.

However it's understood the decision won't leave Inglis ineligible to resume the role when the Kangaroos play again at the end of next year, allowing Meninga the freedom to return him to the captaincy if he sees fit.

Meninga said in a statement on Tuesday he hoped to see Inglis back in the side in 2019, after the left centre had helped set up the team's standards charter in 2016.

"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.

"Greg was in fact an integral part of the creation of the RISE values. No one respects those values more than Greg and we look forward to him returning to the team next year.

"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."

Greg Inglis will be missing two games.
Greg Inglis will be missing two games.

Inglis was driving home from the Koori Knockout tournament in Dubbo when he was pulled over in Lithgow and allegedly returned a positive blood alcohol test with a reading of 0.085.

He said he had felt fine to drive after drinking the night before, but that he had now learned his lesson and would face court next month.

Inglis accepted the suspension on Tuesday, but only after he'd earlier voiced that he believed he deserved to keep the role of Kangaroos captain in an apologetic press conference.

"The status of the game and who I am as player and person in this community it's not good enough," Inglis said.

"Obviously we have standards there. I was in the meetings when we addressed those standards in the group a couple of years ago. It's disappointing from my end.

"Through my playing career I've been playing for 13 years and I've never had a criminal charge laid against me. I just hope the NRL can work through this and we'll go from there."

CORDNER'S DREAM SEASON CONTINUES

Boyd Cordner is poised to cap a dream season with an unprecedented feat after being handed the Kangaroos captaincy following Inglis' tenure.

The 26-year-old Cordner can become the first person to captain NSW to a State of Origin series victory, lead his club to an NRL premiership and steer his country to a Test win all in the same year.

Just two days after skippering the Sydney Roosters' NRL grand final triumph, Cordner was named Australia's latest captain on Tuesday after newly-appointed Inglis was suspended for Australia's tour of New Zealand following a mid-range drink driving charge.

Dane Gagai is set to claim Inglis' centre spot after being recalled to the Kangaroos 19-man squad by coach Mal Meninga.

Cordner was long-serving captain Cameron Smith's deputy during last year's World Cup success, and has been the Blues' Origin captain since last season. "Both Boyd and Greg were strong candidates for the captaincy so clearly Boyd was next in line," Meninga said.

"Boyd has had exceptional success as a leader this season.

"He skippered NSW to a State of Origin series victory and also captained Sydney Roosters to a Premiership.

"Being able to captain the Kangaroos will cap a great year for him."



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