Hodges on GI: ‘I could see the hurt in his eyes’
JUSTIN Hodges has broken his silence on Greg Inglis' mental-health battle, urging the former Queensland Origin star to get his life together for the sake of his children.
As Inglis seeks professional help at a rehab clinic in Sydney, Hodges spoke of his desperate attempt to get help for his former Maroons teammate following his wild weekend with former nude model Suzi Taylor.
Inglis disappeared during the NRL's Magic Round a fortnight ago and after a three-day absence, worried family and friends contacted Hodges to launch an immediate search for the retired NRL legend.
Hodges arrived at the Brisbane luxury mansion at which Inglis and Taylor were staying in a bid to talk his good mate into returning to Sydney.
While Inglis resisted Hodges' plea, the 32-year-old eventually agreed to check into a mental health clinic in Bondi in Sydney's eastern suburbs.
Speaking for the first time about the ordeal, Hodges - the only rugby league associate to have seen Inglis in the past fortnight - said he was deeply worried for his former Queensland and Test teammate.
"I could see the hurt in his eyes," Hodges said.
"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. He suffers from mental health (concerns). It's just dealing with those issues properly.
"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 he gets back to where he wants to be."
Hodges urged Inglis to find the strength to fight on for the sake of his two kids.
"I'm just glad we got him into rehab at the right time," he said.
"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.
"It's someone that you love and someone you are so close to … he was struggling.
"It's hard when you are going through that stage. You don't really know what it is and he couldn't understand what was happening to him at the time. He's got some lovely people around him that care for him and want to see him happy and able to enjoy life.
"We have to make sure he gets back on his feet."
Queensland coach Kevin Walters said the Maroons family were rallying around the 32-game Origin legend.
"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 hasn't got his phone on or he isn't taking my calls, but we wish Greg nothing but a speedy recovery.
"We are there for him."