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Souths coach feared another Inglis injury

South Sydney coach Michael Maguire admits his heart was in his mouth when superstar fullback Greg Inglis clutched his knee in his NRL comeback against Manly last Friday night.
Souths coach feared another Inglis injury
by AAP

By Darren Walton

SYDNEY, Aug 21 AAP - South Sydney coach Michael Maguire admits his heart was in his mouth when superstar fullback Greg Inglis clutched his knee in his NRL comeback against Manly last Friday night.

Maguire on Wednesday declared Inglis 100 per cent fit to tackle Canterbury this Friday night, but conceded he initially feared the Test star may have suffered a recurrence of the injury that sidelined him for a month.

Souths lost three their out of their four games in Inglis's absence before he starred in the 22-10 victory over the Sea Eagles, a vital win that kept the second-placed Rabbitohs in the hunt for the minor premiership.

"It was a bit of a nervous wait for every supporter and the coach and everyone else involved, but he got up and again that's the toughness of what he's become as a player now," Maguire said.

Inglis has since been accused of diving to milk a penalty against the Sea Eagles.

"He did actually hurt that knee at that stage. He got a fair whack on it," Maguire siad.

"But he got up and played an extremely good game for us so hopefully he can do it again this Friday."

While Inglis will be on deck for the big clash with the Bulldogs, Jeff Lima won't be after being suspended for a leg-twisting tackle on Manly forward Anthony Watmough and Maguire revealed the remorseful prop had approached the coach to apologise.

Greats of the game condemned Lima for the tackle, with Cronulla's NSW State of Origin captain Paul Gallen claiming he should have been outed for longer than just one week.

"It's definitely not something we practise and it was an unfortunate incident," Maguire said.

"I mean, he's done a thousand tackles this year and it was one that didn't go quite the way he would have liked and now he's got to pay the price with one week.

"So we'll focus on making sure his technique is the way he normally tackles.

"Jeff's obviously pretty disappointed, but he'll learn from that and we've got to make sure that all those areas we're spot on because we don't want (players) to be missing games."

Souths, meanwhile, re-signed exciting rookie Luke Keary for the next two seasons but Maguire denied trying to lure Rocky Elsom back to the NRL after meeting with the former Wallabies captain at Redfern on Wednesday.

Elsom, who once lived with NRL stars Johnathan Thurston and Sonny Bill Williams during two seasons with Canterbury before switching codes to rugby union in 2003, had talks with Maguire and Souths' high-performance coach Troy Thompson over coffee.

The 30-year-old is on the lookout for a new job after recently being released from his guest stint as an injury replacement at French Top 14 club Toulon.

"He's actually come down to see how we go about things. That's all it is," Maguire told AAP.

Elsom, who played in the front row in the Bulldogs' 2001 premiership-winning Jersey Flegg side before playing 75 Tests for the Wallabies, has also been linked to a move to French second-division rugby club Narbonne.


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