Hull KR’s Danny McGuire ready to lock horns with ‘nemesis’ Greg Inglis and Warrington Wolves

MORE than a decade after being terrorised by Greg Inglis in a performance that “pretty much retired” him as an England player, Hull KR assistant coach Danny McGuire can now just about afford a smile when he thinks of the Australian superstar.

Hull KR's assistant head coach Danny McGuire will lock horns with an old rival in Greg Inglis (Picture: SWPix.com)

It was in 2009 that the then-Leeds Rhinos stand-off found himself being obliterated by the Queensland State of Origin centre as the Kangaroos racked up a 26-0 interval lead in their Four Nations encounter.

He was not the first or last to suffer that fate. However, the question remains whether anyone else will do so in the future?

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Inglis, now 34, is set to make his long-awaited Super League debut against Rovers on Saturday with everyone wondering how he will fare after spending most of the last two years retired.

“I did struggle against him so I’m probably not the best person to ask!” McGuire told The Yorkshire Post, when pushed on how best to stop one of the most freakishly talented players in the game’s history.

“He pretty much retired me from England duty after running around me three times in that game against Australia at Wigan; I’ve not got a happy last memory of facing Greg Inglis.

“He’s been a great player and it was a big gamble by Warrington signing him after two years out.

“It was always going to take time for him to get his fitness back and to get up and running but, for Super League, having someone of his stature here, I do feel it’s great for the sport.

File photo dated 13-11-2016 of Australia's Greg Inglis. Issue date: Wednesday March 10, 2021. PA Photo. Warrington's former Australia Test centre Greg Inglis admits he has endured a "shock to the system" as he closes in on a return to rugby league after an absence of almost two years. See PA story RUGBYL Warrington. Photo credit should read Nigel French/PA Wire.

“It looks like we’ll get a first look at him. I’m not sure what he’ll be like in his first game but there’s no doubt he’s been one of the world’s best over the last 15 years. It won’t be the same Greg Inglis from ten years ago but I’m sure he’ll have an impact.”

Although all eyes will be on the one-time Golden Boot winner if he does play, Rovers have their own agenda to fulfil.

They delivered successive Super League wins for the first time since 2018 when beating Leeds with Friday’s impressive 26-6 victory; last season’s bottom side are showing signs of progress.

McGuire has this season started assisting Tony Smith – his England chief back in that 2009 Four Nations – at Hull College Craven Park and he was delighted to build on a 25-24 victory over Huddersfield Giants.

Way to go: Hull KR winger Ryan Hall reached 200 tries in Super League when he scored against former club Leeds last week – but he still needs another 48 to pass former Rhinos team-mate Danny McGuire Picture: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

He said: “We had a really good start which is something we’ve done the last couple of games having had an issue with it for the first few matches.

“But it was a really good, positive performance for 80 minutes.

“There were some really good performances in there but collectively it was really strong and that was the most pleasing aspect: being a really good team display.

“I think we’ve always believed it was coming. We’ve really good belief in our camp that we can do something special. We’ve had that inconsistent tag but we’ve two wins on the bounce for the first time in three years and it’s something we’ve got to be able to do.

Top scorer: Danny McGuire dives in for the Rhinos second try in the Super League Grand Final 2017 - one of 247 he scored in his storied career. Picture Bruce Rollinson

“We want more consistency and there are some really positive signs that we can do that.

“Warrington will be a really good challenge to see where we are; we want to be competing against the bigger teams and Saturday is a good chance to do that.”

Meanwhile, someone else who played in that 2009 Four Nations defeat to the Kangaroos (England battled back to 26-16 after 80 minutes) and is still playing today is Rovers’ Ryan Hall.

The prolific winger, who joined from Sydney Roosters in the autumn, scored the 200th Super League try of his career in his first meeting with former club Leeds.

“Everyone’s looking for the nice fairytale and it was great to see Hally get that milestone against Rhinos” said McGuire, who won six Super League titles alongside him at Headingley.

“It was pretty special. Although I did tell him he’s got another 40 or so to beat my record so he’s still got a bit of a way to go!

“I’m really pleased for him. Hally’s been great for us with his leadership and the professional way he goes about his business.

“He’s pushing standards up for us and he sets a real example.”

McGuire, of course, was the only previous player to reach adoble ton of Super League tries and his 247 total remains the competition record.

“I’d be really pleased if Hally could get close on that record – and maybe fall just a couple short!” he joked.

“I’m not sure if it will be beaten. The game’s changed a bit and, with the NRL and rugby union, to go a full 15- or 16-year career just in Super League, it would be a fair effort.

“I remember when I went past Keith Senior and Paul Wellens (both on 199) and I knew that was some effort.

“Someone probably will at some point – there’ll be a winger – and I’ll be glad to hand over the baton but it will take some doing.”

Support The Yorkshire Post and become a subscriber today. Your subscription will help us to continue to bring quality news to the people of Yorkshire. In return, you’ll see fewer ads on site, get free access to our app and receive exclusive members-only offers. Click HERE to subscribe.