Hero's welcome awaits Inglis
Queensland Maroons star Greg Inglis is in for a hero's welcome as he travels to PNG with the Australian Prime Minister's XIII for the first time.
The South Sydney Rabbitohs fullback will captain the side when they take on the PNG Prime Minister's XIII in Port Moresby this Saturday, with the match taking place at the National Football Stadium in the country's capital.
It's yet another career highlight for Inglis who has played 30 games for the Queensland Maroons and 35 for the Australian Kangaroos, with these achievements placing him on a rugby league pedestal throughout PNG.
Inglis is an idol of many in the region because of rugby league's standing in the nation, with the PNG Hunters' inclusion in the Intrust Super Cup in 2014 seeing the sport continue to grow rapidly.
The Hunters' place in Intrust Super Cup means there is a strong Maroons supporter base in the region, and seeing Inglis up close on Saturday will be a taste of what's to come next year when the country gets the chance to co-host the 2017 Rugby League World Cup with Australia and New Zealand.
Australian PM's XIII teammate Aaron Woods has toured the area twice, scoring two tries in his most recent appearance back in 2014.
"There are a few boys that haven't played over there before. It's a bit of a surprise that Inglis is one of them," Woods said.
"He will be so popular and I'm sure they will treat him like a god.
"I went over there in 2012 and Ben Te'o had just played for Queensland. The whole population of PNG loved him because they are all Queensland supporters.
"I really enjoy going over there. I've been a couple of times and it's always a great experience. It lets you appreciate what we have in Australia."
The experience for Inglis is set to be surreal, and Australian PM's XIII coach Mal Meninga expects his captain to be swamped when he arrives in PNG on Thursday.
"If they had a throne up there then he'd be on it. If they had a crown then he'd be wearing it. The people of PNG will worship him," Meninga said.
"He's never been there before so it'll be a really good experience for him. He's really looking forward to it.
"Leading the side will be great for him. It will add another feather in his cap."
Saturday's match looms as a good warm-up for Inglis as he prepares for the Four Nations in England.
The competition between Australia, England, New Zealand and Scotland will begin on October 28, and although Inglis is a certainty to be selected for the Kangaroos, there are many of his Australian PM's XIII teammates who are not.
Saturday's match will act as a trial to help Kangaroos coach Meninga decide on his 24-man squad for the tour, with many using the match as their last chance to impress.