South Sydney star Greg Inglis will start at full-back for Australia against New Zealand on Saturday – and plans to keep hold of the number one shirt for the rest of his international career.
The 27-year-old has played full-back for his country on just two occasions – both at last year’s World Cup as injury cover – but, with ageing Billy Slater nursing a shoulder injury and main rival Jarryd Hayne on his way to American Football, he is expected to spend the entire Four Nations tournament at the back.
“It’s something that I’ve been striving for but it’s a bit hard when you’ve got someone like Billy Slater in the No.1 jersey,” Inglis told the Sydney Morning Herald.
“I’ll try and take my opportunity and really embrace it and hopefully hold on to it. At the end of the day I’m just happy to be in the side no matter what number the jersey is.”
Many believe a strong showing from the Queensland utility will see the end of Billy Slater’s international career, but Inglis isn’t getting carried away.
“The best thing about me is that I’ve got age on my side,” Inglis said.
“Billy is in his 30s and I’m only 27. He has a few more years left. At the end of the day, you’ve got to go back to club [level] and perform to get your spot.
“It’ll sort itself out in the long run. At this point of time Billy would be the No.1 if he didn’t pull out through injury.”