Inspired by Queensland skipper Cameron Smith, Greg Inglis has talked about playing until 2020 by which time his State of Origin try-scoring record may be untouchable.
Smith – 31 next month – has vowed to extend his already glittering Origin career until 2016 and 27-year-old Inglis said on Thursday he hoped to play another six years if his body allowed.
A 30-game veteran, Smith will become Origin’s most successful player with 20 wins if Queensland triumph in the series opener in Brisbane on Wednesday night.
And he can eclipse Darren Lockyer’s 36-game Origin record if he achieves his plan to play another two years of interstate footy.
But it may pale in comparison to what NSW-born Inglis may achieve for Queensland.
Fitter than ever and finally confident about “what works” with his diet, Inglis could be set for an unprecedented assault on the Origin record books.
“Playing onto 2016 is remarkable not only for Queensland but for himself,” said Inglis of Smith.
Told the year 2020 could be in reach at his age, Inglis said: “If my body holds up fine I will hopefully get to 2020.
“I will keep playing until my body has had enough.”
That means Inglis could extend his current 15-try record for Origin to dizzy heights.
With 21 games to his name already, Inglis (42 games) could also nudge Smith (39) for most Origin games by 2020 if all goes to plan.
Inglis – who already has 14 Origin wins to his name – may also retire as Origin’s most successful player.
And the explosive centre is currently just six shy of Queensland coach Mal Meninga’s Origin record of 25 total line breaks.
Inglis agreed he is now the fittest he’s been in his eight-year Origin career.
“I think it comes with age. The older you get, the more wiser you get,” he said.
“It’s knuckling down with the dietitian and everything else and working out what works for you.”
Inglis said harsh lessons learned when he arrived at South Sydney in 2011 overweight and ill-disciplined were now starting to pay major dividends.
He would drink up to three cans of diet Coke and eat too many white bread sandwiches for his liking at night as he dealt with a messy contract wrangle between South Sydney and former club Melbourne.
He ballooned to 116kg. He is now a ripped 106kg juggernaut.
“I started as a skinny kid, then blew out a bit and there were questions about my weight, that probably explained those injuries when I started at Souths,” Inglis said.
“And in the past I probably took it too easy.
“But I finally know what works for me.
“Bread and fizzy drinks – the artificial colouring gets you – were the main things (cut out of diet).
“It’s about being disciplined with the food you put into you and working hard.”