Inglis ‘still over the limit 13 hours after last drink’
NRL superstar Greg Inglis's boozy blowout following a grassroots indigenous rugby league tournament meant the axed Kangaroos captain was still over the limit in his car at least 13 hours after his last drink.
Inglis, who was yesterday sacked from the Australian side a day after being named its skipper, said he was drinking after the Koori Knockout community games in Dubbo on Sunday until he returned to his hotel room between 11pm and 1am, Monday.
He then slept until noon, thinking he was "right to drive" back to Sydney.
However, when he was pulled over for a police breath test in Lithgow at 2pm, the Rabbitohs centre blew 0.085.
"I am sincerely apologetic," the 31-year-old told reporters in Redfern yesterday. "I hope we can get this sorted and move on from this.
"I went out to the Knockout, giving back to the community and seeing all the kids smile in Dubbo.
"I went back to the hotel and thought I'd be right to drive (the next day). This is a lesson everyone should take out of this: if you're not right to drive, have a Plan B."
While Inglis refused to voluntarily step down as captain at the press conference, the decision was taken out of his hands hours later.
Australian coach Mal Meninga said the night of heavy drinking followed by a drink driving charge had made the Maroons veteran's position in the national team untenable.
He was suspended for two games with Sydney Roosters star Boyd Cordner to take over as captain.
Despite stripping Inglis of his captaincy, Meninga said the player had done the right thing by coming clean and apologising.
"No one respects those values more than Greg and we look forward to him returning to the team next year," he said, adding that Inglis was an integral part of the NRL's RISE (Respect, Inspiration, Selflessness and Excellence) youth program.
"As a result he's accepted the penalty and I think he has shown real leadership by the way he has been accountable for his actions."
NRL CEO Todd Greenberg said Inglis deserved "credit" for his apology.
"Greg is not just a great player, he is one of our best role models, but he made a poor decision on this occasion," he said. "He deserves full credit for being upfront today by apologising … It is a mark of the man that he has accepted responsibility for his actions and I have no doubt he will overcome this setback and retain his status as a true leader in our game."
Inglis said he planned to plead guilty to the drink driving charges.