Newly appointed Australian Rugby League captain Greg Inglis has come out fighting after being charged with drink driving and speeding.
The NRL star failed a breathalyser following an indigenous sports carnival. The South Sydney Rabbitohs player has apologised over the incident and revealed that he returned to his hotel about 1am on Monday morning before waking later and leaving about midday, mistakingly thinking he was under the limit.
“I don’t think I’ve let my country down but I have let a lot of people down because of where I stand in the game as a proud indigenous role model,” he said at a packed press conference in Sydney.
“I think I’ve let a lot of kids down, a lot of people down in the sense of that community.”
“I’m standing here before you and putting my hand up and know that I did make a mistake and that’s the bottom line. I’m very sorry, I’m very apologetic.
“I’ll just continue with the process that’s going to go on from here on in and continue to lead in my community and I’ll learn from this mistake and it definitely won’t happen again.”
The 31-year-old remains determined to hang on to the Kangaroos captain’s armband, “We’ll just wait and see what the NRL decide, it’s out of my hands now, but it’s still something that I’d really love, to be Australian captain. Obviously we have standards there… so it’s disappointing from my end.”
“I have been playing for 13 years and I have never had a criminal charge laid against me or anything like that. I just hope the NRL can work through this.”
Inglis has had his driving licence suspended and he’s due to appear in court on November 18th.
He has since been suspended for Australia’s two-Test tour of New Zealand and faces a battle to hang on to the captaincy.
NRL CEO Todd Greenberg said in a statement: “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 deserves full credit for being upfront today by apologising and taking full ownership of his mistake.
“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.”
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