‘Many artists, writers, actors and other cultural workers secretly follow sport,’ says artist Imants Tillers, who painted rugby league great Greg Inglis for the 2019 Archibald Prize.

Captain of the South Sydney Rabbitohs and previously with the Melbourne Storm, Inglis retired in April 2019 after playing 263 NRL games (including five grand finals), 39 international games for Australia and 32 State of Origin games for Queensland. In 2009 he was named the best rugby league player in the world, receiving the Golden Boot Award.

Tillers has been a Rabbitohs supporter since 1965, when as a 15-year-old he attended the legendary grand final between South Sydney and St George.

‘To witness Greg Inglis in full flight, equipped with a fend that could stop a freight train, is to see poetry in motion,’ said Tillers. ‘But there is far more to Greg Inglis than being an elite Indigenous athlete. He is a hero and role model to Indigenous communities all around Australia, and a community leader of enormous influence.’


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