Inglis to miss All Stars, and Charity Shield under cloud
STAR Rabbitohs recruit Greg Inglis has been ruled out of the Indigenous All Stars team and is set to miss Souths' annual Charity Shield clash with St George Illawarra - unless the Dragons withdraw from the World Club Challenge in England.
With the WCC against Super League champions Wigan set down for February 27 and the Charity Shield scheduled for February 26 at ANZ Stadium, the NRL premiers have been trying to find an alternative date or venue for one of the fixtures.
It is understood Souths and the Dragons have agreed to shift the Charity Shield to February 13, the day after the All Stars match at Gold Coast's Skilled Stadium, but St George Illawarra chief executive Peter Doust last night told the Herald the club had not yet agreed to play in the WCC.
''We would obviously like to be involved in what is a highly regarded event but there is no obligation on us to play,'' Doust said. ''At this stage, we are still trying to work around what is a highly complex set of circumstances but we are certainly not interested in going if we can't meet the special needs of our club.''
Doust said there were financial issues involved after the Dragons' proposal to stage the WCC in Australia for the first time since 1994 was rejected as Super League starts on February 12, and Wigan did not want to travel in between matches.
A shoulder injury has ruled Inglis out of the Indigenous All Stars team to be announced today, along with Brisbane centre Justin Hodges (Achilles), but Souths officials hope he will be able to make his first appearance in a Rabbitohs jumper on February 19 against the Titans at Coffs Harbour International Stadium.
The Rabbitohs and Dragons both have pre-season games scheduled on February 5, with Souths hosting Newtown in their annual members-only match at Redfern Oval and St George Illawarra meeting Melbourne in Perth.
As a result, the Charity Shield can only be played on February 13 or February 26, and Doust said there was no way the Dragons would abandon a 28-year tradition to play in the WCC.
Personally I hope the Charity shield goes ahead as it's always a great game with a great atmosphere. Good on Doust for not rolling over and giving the English Super League what it wants.. If they want the WCC to continue then it needs to be Alternated between both countries not just played on their turf and terms every year..