Justin Hodges has encouraged his close friend Greg Inglis to get his life back on track for the sake of his young family after seeing “the hurt in his eyes”.
The former South Sydney captain has been admitted to a mental health facility to deal with the issues he has been facing.
Hodges, the Maroons' assistant coach and one of Inglis’s closest confidants, is one of the few rugby league friends of Inglis to have seen him personally during the Magic Round week in Brisbane.
Hodges, who encouraged his former Maroons teammate to seek help, said he was now just happy that Inglis was in a place where he would be well cared for.
“It’s someone that you love and someone you are so close to … you could see the hurt in his eyes and he was struggling,” Hodges said of his last meeting with Inglis.
“He’s doing it very tough. Everything hit him at once; his marriage break-up and then his retirement came quickly, quicker than what he expected.
“It’s a lot of things. It’s just dealing with those issues properly.
“I’m just glad we got him into a rehab at the right time. You don’t know what could have happened if he was out drinking and all that type of stuff. I’m just glad he’s in rehab and he can get his life together. He’s got two beautiful young kids at home that really need their father and that’s the most important thing. We have to make sure he gets back on his feet.
“He’ll get looked after. I’m keeping in touch with his Mum and Dad and making sure he comes out on the right side. Let’s hope he does the program properly and gets back to where he wants to be.
“He’s got some lovely people around him that care for him and want to see him happy and able to enjoy life.”
Maroons coach Kevin Walters said the Queensland team’s thoughts were with Inglis in a difficult time.
“We're playing for every Queenslander. Once you make that Queensland team you are part of this giant family and we are feeling for Greg and the troubles he has at the moment,” Walters said.
“This time last year he was our captain and what a leader he was. He will be in our hearts and our minds with us.
“He has good people around him, Greg is a strong character and he will always be part of this family. We are there for him.”