Series brag­ging rights and Test cap­taincy honours at stake for Cord­ner and Inglis

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - NRL -

IT’S a bat­tle within the bat­tle.

NSW cap­tain Boyd Cord­ner and Queens­land skip­per Greg Inglis will not only be at­tempt­ing to lead their re­spec­tive states to Ori­gin glory, they are also du­elling for the Test cap­taincy.

Fol­low­ing the rep­re­sen­ta­tive re­tire­ment of long-serv­ing Kan­ga­roos cap­tain Cameron Smith, Test coach Mal Menin- ga is on the hunt to ap­point a new leader for the most priv­i­leged job in rugby league.

Ei­ther way, Meninga can’t lose, how­ever a win­ning series win for ei­ther cap­tain would con­trib­ute to the de­ci­sion­mak­ing process.

The Test coach is on record with his sup­port for the in­cum­bent Test vice-cap­tain Cord­ner — who cap­tained Aus­tralia when Smith was rested from a warm-up match against PNG and Fiji prior to last year’s World Cup.

“I see him as the next Kan­ga­roos cap­tain,” Meninga said last Oc­to­ber.

“He has bought into the way the Kan­ga­roos want to play.

“He is a player that will get picked every time the Kan­ga­roos play.

“Greg Inglis isn’t here but I see those two guys fight­ing it out for the next spot to lead

the Kan­ga­roos once Cameron makes that (re­tire­ment) de­ci­sion.

“It is a great hon­our. He will do a ter­rific job.

“He is a great com­mu­ni­ca­tor. He is an ideal can­di­date to take over from Cameron.”

Inglis, who makes his Queens­land de­but as cap­tain of a series on Wed­nes­day night, would also be viewed as a wor­thy re­cip­i­ent.

Forced to miss last year’s World Cup due to in­jury, Inglis has rep­re­sented the Kan­ga­roos on 39 oc­ca­sions.

Cord­ner has worn the green and gold 16 times.

Test for­ward and NSW team­mate Jake Tr­bo­je­vic said Cord­ner’s step up into the va­cant Test job would prove log­i­cal.

“They’d both be fit­ting, but you’d think Boyd be­ing the vice-cap­tain, the nat­u­ral pro­gres­sion would be for him to step in there,’’ Tr­bo­je­vic said.

“Boyd never takes a back­ward step, he al­ways does all the lit­tle things.

“He’s done it be­fore at the high­est level — he’s won a premier­ship, he’s played for his coun­try.

“Then you’ve got Greg Inglis — what a player. He’s in such great form for South Syd­ney af­ter hav­ing a year off, which is in­cred­i­ble. He’s been un­be­liev­able to watch over the years.

“They’re both good talk­ers as well.’’

Cord­ner, who will lead the Blues in his fourth Ori­gin on Wed­nes­day night, was typ­i­cally mod­est when asked by The Sun­day Tele­graph if a win­ning series would con­trib­ute to his am­bi­tion of lead­ing Aus­tralia.

“I don’t re­ally like to talk about it,’’ Cord­ner said. “But I’ll just keep go­ing about my busi­ness and do­ing the best I can for my club and for the Blues.

“With ‘GI’ be­ing cap­tain of Queens­land now, ev­ery­one knows how good a leader he is and how good a player he is.

“I just want to put my full en­ergy and fo­cus into this series and what­ever hap­pens, hap­pens.’’

NSW skip­per Boyd Cord­ner.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.