Hodges: Proud of the man GI has become
I REMEMBER when Greg Inglis was playing at Norths Devils in the Queensland Cup.
Back then he was a lot skinnier - he's certainly filled that big frame.
But even then he was a freakish player, and you knew he was going to be the superstar that he has become.
The way he does things, the way he moves across the field.
He makes a break or palms three or four opponents off and sets up a try.
Greg does things people aren't probably supposed to do on a football field.
He's got the ability to single-handedly bring teams back from the depths, be it the Rabbitohs or Maroons.
Greg, though, always puts his teammates first.
We became close over many years of playing Origin together.
I remember my last series in 2015. I told him before anyone that I wasn't just going to just retire from rep footy, I was going to retire full stop at the end of that year.
I remember walking into camp for game three, the series all tied up at one-apiece.
I pestered him all week - "you know I can't walk out a loser".
Walking out on to Suncorp Stadium he said "I gotchya".
Those simple words made me feel at ease. I just knew that he was on.
We won 52-6. Greg came up to me at the end and said "I told you I gotchya".
I'm very proud of what he's achieved, and what's he come back from.
I've watched him grow from a young kid into the man he is today; Queensland captain.
It'll be a huge moment for him leading the players out on to the MCG on Wednesday night.
He's not a big talker. He's a guy who leads by his actions. That's what makes a great captain; a guy who puts himself in the firing line first.
But I'm sure all the boys will back him up
He's had his challenges over the past year and a half with his depression and his knee reconstruction which forced him out of last year's Origin series.
A lot of guys would not have come back from where he's been.
While Greg makes his 31st Origin appearance, my old Broncos teammate Andrew McCullough finally makes his first.
We always talk about the great Cameron Smith.
If Cameron wasn't around Andrew probably would have played 15 to 20 games by now.
He just puts everything into his game, makes 50 or 60 tackles but it really goes unnoticed by everyone apart from his teammates.
He probably doesn't get the accolades that everyone else around him gets but he's a wonderful player.
He's come back from a knee reconstruction, and he hurt his elbow in his second game back.
He's a tough kid.
I always knew he would play Origin and I'm just so glad he's got his opportunity. I'm pretty sure he'll take it with both hands.
It's a changing of the guard at Queensland but the likes of Ben Hunt and Cameron Munster will do us proud.
They've just got to stick to the process. We've come up with a formula: the Queensland way, what it takes to be a Queensland player - it's living and breathing it every day of your life.