GREG Inglis says his performances will get better for Warrington Wolves.

The Australian superstar harshly criticised his first appearance in a competitive rugby league game for 26 months when he made a try-scoring Warrington Wolves debut against Hull KR in Betfred Super League Round 5 behind closed doors at The Halliwell Jones Stadium.

“It wasn’t great but I knew I wasn’t going to be great,” said Inglis, who slotted into Steve Price’s side at left centre in a 50-26 victory.

"First half I was below-par, probably be a 5 or a 4 out of 10. Second half, it would probably be a 7.

“From the team and boys here, there was no pressure on me to perform the way I used to but the only way I could improve was to get back into it in the second half and I felt I did that but also the team did that as well.”

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Greg Inglis in the warm-up. All pictures by Mike Boden

He knows he needs matches under his belt to get anywhere close to the form that brought him a highly decorated 14-year career in the NRL, winning titles with Melbourne Storm and South Sydney Rabbitohs as well as playing over 70 representative games for Queensland, Australia and the Indigenous All Stars.

“It’s hard to say. It could be three games, or it could be four. We’ll just keep going week to week and I’ll obviously get better as the weeks go on. I’m sure the team will as well,” said Inglis, who at 34 and 106 days became the oldest Wire debutant of the Super League era.

“It was good to get a hit-out and also good to walk out with a win.”

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He revealed how he felt ahead of being back on the field again after so long retired and joked that he was worried about turning up late for the early kick-off when asked what he found different about Saturday’s game compared to his last for South Sydney against St George Illawarra Dragons in March, 2019.

“Probably the 1pm kick-off. That was very different. Besides the nerves kicking in, I couldn’t really sleep last night because I was worried I’d miss my alarm to get here on time,” he said.

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“There were massive nerves before the game. I’ve always got nervous before games back home, but these were a different type of nerves especially with it being the first game after two years at a competitive level.

“The family, friends, my partner, they were all excited to see me get back and be happy, the same with Pricey (head coach Steve Price) as well.

“As I said, the team did not put me under any pressure. They just wanted me to get back out there and perform.”

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Having been in town and training with the club since January he gave a sense of simply being happy to finally get a game under his belt and use it as a platform to build the rest of his campaign.

“When I arrived we knew I was going to need to get a lot of fitness and get a lot of base underneath to be able to perform and to play,” he said.

“We had to tick boxes and do the criteria but our high performance unit has been terrific. We have the conversations ‘Am I ready?’ and ‘If I wasn’t ready last week would I be ready this week? And we’d have a conversation about it.

“I’ve been here for four months now since we landed in January and it’s just been slow progress.

“I had some setbacks with little injuries, little niggles, but that’s what happens when you’ve been out of the game for two years.

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“I was getting itchy feet last week about getting out there, wanting to help out the side and to help out the club.

“I was helping at training, making people feel better as a team and that’s fine by me. But to get out there and to finally play 80 minutes with this bunch of guys is rewarding.

He acknowledged the support he felt during the game from his new teammates.

“It was massive,” he said.

“Ben Currie was massive for me on my edge, Daz Clark in the middle, Coops and Hilly up front.

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“It was full credit to Toby King and Jake Mamo being put out of position this week. People didn’t see the side of what they’ve done for the team by making that sacrifice of going over to the other side and they haven’t whinged about it. It’s a credit to them the way they went about it.”

And what does he think of Super League so far?

“There’s a lot of skill and talent over here,” he said.

“I don’t think the majority of people back in the NRL realise how tough it is to play here, and to play week-in week-out for the long period of time that it is. It takes its toll on the body.”

Has the journey to return to action been tougher than he thought it would be?

“You have to prime your body,” he said.

“It doesn’t matter if it’s NRL or Super League, but these boys play yard over here. There’s no doubt about it. And you have to get your body right. It’s also how you approach the games.”

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He finished the game in the busier full-back role, due to Matty Ashton’s departure with injury, but it was a situation he had not expected and even told his centre opponent Brad Takairangi that he would not be covering the position.

“The message came out and I was like ‘Are you serious’? Wind the clock back,“ he said

“Before that me and Brad Takairangi were having a thing when Matty Ashton went down injured. And he said ‘Oh Greg, are you going back to full-back?’ and I said ‘No man, those days are gone’. It turns out moments later I was back there.

“It got more interesting as the game went on and I got to find my feet more.”

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He acknowledged after the final hooter that the aches and pains were setting in.

“I’m starting to feel sore and stiff now, so I’ll definitely be sore and stiff tomorrow,” he said.

The next time Warrington play at home will be in front of fans for the first time in 14 months and he will hope to be involved when Huddersfield Giants come to town on May 17.

“I’m looking forward to the fans being back as much as everyone else,” he said.

“And to get back into some sort of normality of life.

“To have the fans back, this is what they love.

“It’s what the teams and clubs love, enjoy as well.

“You never know, getting back the fans for some teams might lift them and make them perform better.

“I’m just looking forward to the experience of it.”

Since his arrival, Wolves have announced changes for next season with head coach Price and his backroom team all moving on.

So has anything changed for Inglis over the few months he has been here, as he is currently on a contract until the end of the year.

“I’ve been asked a number of occasions about whether I want to stay on next year,” he said.

“I’m happy that I’m here and I’m happy that I’m enjoying the experience.

“It’s a great club to be a part of. I want to be here to help with the culture and building the younger players coming through.

“As older players, we can impart our knowledge to the younger generation coming through and help them.

“In terms of around the club, we want to change the perspective as well and ultimately lift that trophy at the end of the year.

“It’s obviously a week to week process and it’s a long season, I’ve found that out looking at the games to be played. It’s something that you have to grind away at. It’s not going to come easy and St Helens and Wigan are the benchmark. So we’ve got to keep up there.

“For now, I’ll be on the plane back home (at the end of the year) and hopefully in the future you never know I might come over here and help out in other ways.”