Rabbitohs legend Greg Inglis will have just a week off after announcing his retirement before returning to Redfern in a wide-ranging role that the club hopes will set him up for a long and productive post-playing career.
Inglis joined coach Wayne Bennett, CEO Blake Solly and general manager of football Shane Richardson addressing media at Redfern on Monday morning, with Inglis' immediate and long-term future one of the major topics of discussion.
Richardson said Inglis had come to him around two years ago to initiate his post-football pathway.
Since then Inglis, who sat out 2017 due to a knee reconstruction, has taken on a major role in the club's recruitment and retention conversations and developed an understanding of the salary cap.
He has also been heavily involved with Souths Cares, an independent and not-for-profit charity and community arm associated with the club.
"The most important thing is that my career off the field is starting now," Inglis told the gathering of media, club members and teammates.
"I get to look forward to that and get to work with the boys, work with the club, help the community out, do what I can with the team.
"I loved my time here, I'm not going anywhere. You haven't seen the last of me here but you've seen the last of me playing 80 minutes on a footy field.
"I'll be back into work in a week or two."
Richardson joked that he wasn't sure why Inglis kept saying "two weeks" because he expected the Maroons and Kangaroos legend back at the desk in one to begin an important role that starts straight away.
"Greg Inglis has got 25 more years minimum of work in this great game of ours. I don't think we should underestimate what he's done in the past or what he will do in the future," Richardson said.
"We sat down this week with Todd and the NRL so we know exactly where we're standing.
"Greg's been working with me over the last two years. He is fully au fait with our retention system, sitting in on retention meetings, understands our cap, has been helping us with our recruitment as well and he'll continue with those roles on a more full-time basis as well as being involved in the football side with Wayne and coaching and developing our young players as they come through.
"He's a fairly handy person to have sitting across the table from families and tell them what career they should have with South Sydney. That's the beauty of Greg Inglis and we intend to make sure he stays with us as long as he wants to be.
"He'll be involved with welfare, working with [player well-being manager] Luke Kelly and our welfare team making sure all of our players are taken care of in the way we want to. We're ramping up our welfare, getting involved with clinical psychologists.
"This is not a sad day, it's a day when one of the greats of the game gets heavily involved with the club he loves for his long-term future and that of the club."
Solly added Inglis would continue to have a huge impact as an Indigenous leader and mentor.
Greg Inglis career highlights
"Over the last 12 months, Greg significantly increased his involvement with our community programs through Souths Cares," Solly said.
"Anyone fortunate enough to see Greg when he visits a school or hospital or community organisation or a junior club in any community be it Redfern, Kempsey, Wellington, the difference is extraordinary.
"His role with Souths Cares will ensure he continues to be able to do that.
"More Indigenous kids will be healthier, more Indigenous students will finish the HSC, more Indigenous adults will stay in work and find work as a result of Greg's work with Souths Cares.
"That impact will one day stand beside all the work and brilliant achievements on the field."
Richardson stressed the role for Inglis was not about "jobs for the boys".
"It's not just a matter of a great player retiring and you whack him in a coaching job... it's a far more detailed position description that we shared with the NRL that shows what Greg will be doing," he said.
"We'll be controlling his IP (intellectual property) because one of the challenges you have when you're an ex-footballer, people want to come up with a million schemes and thoughts and ideas.
"Greg's got a magnificent IP. Greg's got the opportunity in the next 20 years to be one of the great Indigenous leaders in this country and one of the great NRL operators in the country."