Greg Inglis was so determined to be nominated for The Frownlow Medal in 2018 that he got himself sacked as captain of the national team after being caught drink driving and speeding.
The NRL star made the late dash just moments before the close of entries for the 2018 award and just a day after being chosen as the captain of the Australian Rugby League team, the Kangaroos.
The Frownlow Medal is awarded to the player whose off-field demeanour epitomises the values of the modern-day footballer and draws attention to the status of footballers as role models to young Australians. It covers Australia’s four major football codes; the National Rugby League (NRL), Australian Football League (AFL), the A-League (Football) and Rugby Union’s Super Rugby competition. Kiwi international Shaun Kenny-Dowall won the inaugural medal in 2015 before Corey Norman in 2016 and Tim Simona in 2017.
Inglis was charged with mid-range drink-driving and speeding in rural NSW and has been banned for the next two games, the test matches against New Zealand and Tonga.
While a minor traffic infringement is not as severe as some of the actions that have earned other footballers a nomination for this year’s Frownlow, Inglis has a history which will strengthen his chances.
The South Sydney player was sent to counselling and ordered to pay a fine of $3000 after being charged with an open-handed push on his girlfriend in 2010. While Inglis escaped conviction for the assault charge, The controversy saw him stood down for two games by his team the Melbourne Storm.
Inglis will find out very soon if he is chosen to lead the Kangaroos, or to wear The Frownlow Medal for 2018.