The moment NSW lost the most destructive player in State of Origin history, Greg Inglis, to the Queensland Maroons


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Greg Inglis will line up for Qld in Game Two of the State of Origin series next Wednesday at Suncorp Stadium. Pic: Darren England. Source: Quest Newspapers
IT was the moment New South Wales laughed off selecting Greg Inglis and lost him to Queensland forever.
A phone call between then Queensland under-19 chairman of selectors, Brian Edwards, and his New South Wales counterpart ahead of naming the teams for the inaugural State of Origin under-19 clash ensured Inglis played for the Maroons.


Edwards said Inglis, raised on the NSW north coast but attended Wavell High School in Brisbane’s north, could have played for either the Queensland or NSW teams for the inaugural under-19 State of Origin game in 2005.
“One of our jobs on the selection panel was to inform New South Wales of any Queenslanders playing in New South Wales and who we required for Origin,” Edwards said.
“I asked the New South Wales chairman, knowing Inglis was here, who he required and he just laughed at me and said they didn’t want anybody playing up here.
“After he giggled and said no I just left it at that and contacted Ross Livermore (former QRL chief executive) and said under the rules he was able to play for Queensland.
“After that conversation everything moved into place and he became a Queenslander.’’
Despite playing senior football for Norths under-18s and Queensland 17s the year before, Edwards said Inglis could still have chosen to play for NSW in the rookie Origin game and expected a challenge from the NSW selectors for his services.
However, according to his host father in Brisbane, Adrian Coolwell, Inglis bled Maroon.
“Clear cut. He wanted to play from the day he came to Brisbane,’’ Coolwell said “We asked him that in the first week with us.
“I asked him if it came to it, who he would play for? He said: ‘I’d play for Queensland’.
“He was Queensland all the way.’’

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The note Greg Inglis left to the Coolwell family before leaving for Melbourne. Pic: Angie Simms.Source: Quest Newspapers
When Inglis left the Coolwell’s family home bound for the Melbourne Storm side, he scribbled a note to the family highlighting his desire to play for the Maroons.
His note to Coolwell’s boys, Jake and Zac, read: “My goal is the play for Qld and Australia.’’
Inglis coach at Brisbane Norths, Wayne Treleaven, remembers questioning Inglis about his desire to play for Queensland prior to the under-19 State of Origin game.
“We asked if he wanted to play for Queensland,” Treleaven said.
“We didn’t force it on him and never mentioned that he was rejected by New South Wales.
“He didn’t have any hesitation in picking Queensland and had already spent a few years here.
“I saw what everyone else saw him in. He was sensational and there was never any doubt he was going to become what he has.
“He was a very athletic kid, good runner of the ball and just way above anyone his age.”
Edwards recalled putting Inglis’ name forward to Livermore.
“I told him that Greg would be great for Queensland in the future and he wrote his name down on the spot.
“It emphasises the way New South Wales have treated Queensland and it is probably why we are so passionate.”


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Adrian Coolwell and son Jake with the note Greg Inglis left for the family. Source: Quest Newspapers

Source: The Courier Mail

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