The Bombers have reported that NRL superstar Greg Inglis was 15 minutes away from a switch of codes.
On the eve of South Sydney and Melbourne Storm’s finals clash at AAMI Park, The Daily Telegraph revealed just how close Inglis was to signing with the Bombers in 2010.
Inglis had a meeting with former Bombers coach James Hird, CEO Ian Robson and list and recruiting general manager Adrian Dodoro, with a contract waiting to be signed.
“The meeting was on a Friday afternoon,” a source close to Essendon said.
Inglis, who was 23 at the time, became angry at the NRL as they were refusing to register his contract with the Rabbitohs, with concerns over third party agreements.
It is rumored that he had said in the meeting: “I’m playing AFL.”
“There had been a number of discussions. The AFL was on board with it,” the source said.
“Inglis was told he wasn’t going to get the clearance to play for Souths due to salary cap reasons. We agreed that if he didn’t, he was playing for the Bombers. We had a verbal agreement.”
David Gallop, NRL CEO at the time, was told that he had 30 minutes to register the Inglis deal or else he will be joining Israel Folau and Karmichael Hunt in quitting rugby league and playing AFL.
Officials became aware of the situation and the impact of Inglis’s departure would have on the game.
“They were in the room, off site in the city, and the NRL was told they had half an hour to make up their mind or Inglis would be playing for Essendon next season. It was all systems go from Essendon,” the source said.
But at the last minute, the whole saga was saved.
“The NRL rang up at the last minute and he stayed in rugby league,” the source confirmed.
“It went right down to the wire.”
Former AFL player Graeme ‘Gubby’ Allan believes that Inglis would have been successful in the AFL.
“He is a super athlete who would have made a great Aussie rules player,” Allan said.
“I think he could have played centre half-back or centre half-forward, he would have been a key position player.”
Do you think Inglis would of been a success or do you think he would of switched codes again like the other two?