Warrington CEO Karl Fitzpatrick has revealed the delay of this year’s State Of Origin series helped them get Greg Inglis a visa to join the club.
The Wolves announced the signing of the Aussie superstar earlier this month after luring him out of retirement on a one-year deal.
There had been some queries over how the Wolves had been able to obtain a visa for the 33-year-old.
Rules state that players must have played 75% of NRL game over the previous 24 months to be eligible, though Inglis had not reached that figure after having retired in 2019.
But Fitzpatrick revealed that with State Of Origin being pushed back this season, his appearances in the 2018 event meant he could obtain one. Rules also state that players can obtain a visa if they’ve played a certain number of representative and international games in the same time span, and Inglis’ Queensland appearances in 2018 got him over the threshold.
“As the 2020 State Of Origin has been pushed back to the end of the season, it means the qualifying period for State Of Origin has been pushed back as well to the 2018 season,” he said.
“He represented Queensland so we were able to get him a visa through that.
“Covid-19 has helped us out in that regard. This isn’t the first time such measures have been applied; international postponements and extending the qualifying period has happened in the past in terms of receiving the governing body endorsement.”
When Inglis does arrive, he will take one of Warrington’s five overseas spots.
It means at least one of Warrington’s five quota players – Jason Clark, Anthony Gelling, Jake Mamo, Blake Austin and Sitaleki Akauola – will leave the club.
Clark told League Express last week that he hoped to tie up his deal in the coming days while Austin, Mamo and Akauola are all thought to be tied up to deals beyond 2020.
That leaves Gelling, who is currently back in New Zealand, but Fitzpatrick insists nothing has yet been determined and Gelling will report back once the season resumes.
“Nothing has been decided at this stage,” he said.
“Players are off-contract but we haven’t made a call yet.
“I spoke to Anthony just at the back end of last week. He’s back in New Zealand; he went as the pandemic borders were shutting to go home and spend time with his wife and kids. We expect him to be back in the country once the game is closer to returning.”