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Morris says Inglis best athlete ever

Greg Inglis

Long-serving Queensland selector Des Morris has declared South Sydney destroyer Greg Inglis the best athlete he has seen pull on a boot.
Morris says Inglis best athlete ever
by AAP

By Wayne Heming

COOLUM, QLD, June 1 AAP - Long-serving Queensland selector Des Morris has declared South Sydney destroyer Greg Inglis the best athlete he has seen pull on a boot.

Morris, who's also picked Australian teams, joined a growing list of rugby league identities including former Maroon greats Paul Vautin and Chris Close in anointing Inglis their number one athlete as the 26 year-old prepares to return to the centres for Queensland in Sydney next Wednesday.

His blistering start to 2013 -- which includes a four try haul in one game -- even sparked calls for him to be named at fullback ahead of dynamic Melbourne Storm custodian Billy Slater -- something that was never going to happen.

But it highlighted coach Michael Maguire's wisdom in switching him to fullback this season -- a master stroke with Souths sitting on top of the NRL ladder.

Dual international Sonny Bill Williams and Parramatta's Jarryd Hayne at their best are probably the closet packages to Inglis in the NRL.

"I didn't see Gasnier (legendary St George centre Reg Gasnier) who was no doubt in that ilk," said Morris.

"(But) .... In all my time as a player and a selector I've seen some really good footballers, Wally Lewis, Bobby Fulton, Darren Lockyer, those guys were all greats in their own roles"

"You had Mal (Meninga) and Geno (Gene Miles) who were outstanding big athletes of their day.

"No disrespect to them, GI has got them covered for pace and a few others areas."

Inglis has taken his running game to rarefied heights since switching to fullback.

His try against Manly from a cold start highlighted all his skills, speed, power, strength and that incredible athleticism that is a gift.

He backed it up against North Queensland with a brace -- one a breathtaking 90m effort when he resembled Usain Bolt in full flight.

Morris played 15 games for Queensland during the 1970s and has been picking Maroon sides since 1995.

He believes Inglis is playing career-best football because he's enjoying life.

"Like Mal, he was pretty quiet and reserved when he first came into camp," said Morris.

"For a few years he had little issues he was dealing with but now he's just enjoying playing."

Vautin boldly predicted before the 2011 series Inglis would be remembered in the same vein as Meninga and co.

Last season he eclipsed Dale Shearer's Origin try scoring record when he crossed for his 14th in 18 games.

"We see vision of Mal Meninga at his best and this bloke isn't too far behind him," said Vautin who played 22 Origins and was coach of the 1995 side which defied the odds to win the series 3-0.

"To be honest I don't think Greg Inglis realises just how good he is, or can be."

Morris certainly does.

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