Devastating news for Queenslanders today, with confirmation State of Origin great Billy Slater has been ruled out of Game 1 due to a hamstring injury.
The Queensland Maroons star revealed the shock news on Monday, two days before he was set to take to the field for the series opener in Melbourne.
“I didn’t pull up as well as I would have liked after our training run on Sunday, and because I’m not 100 per cent, it’s in my best interests as well as the team’s to withdraw from Wednesday’s game,” Slater said.
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It’s understood Maroons coach Kevin Walters will now consult with selectors and senior players before deciding on the final make-up of the side closer to kick off.
Walters confirmed Anthony Milford and Kalyn Ponga will join the Maroons squad in Melbourne tonight.
“We knew we had some concerns with Billy, but he’s a champion player and we needed to give him every chance to play,” Walters said.
“We’ve had plans in place to cover Billy if he didn’t come up right, and we’ve actioned that today with Anthony and Kalyn coming in.”