Billy Slater Ruled Out Of Origin One With Hamstring Injury
Queensland Maroon Billy Slater has been ruled out of Wednesday's Origin opener with a hamstring injury.
What you need to know
- Billy Slater will not play Game 1 of Origin after failing to recover from a troublesome hamstring.
- Anthony Milford and Kalyn Ponga have joined the squad in Melbourne.
- The final team will be announced closer to Wednesday's kick-off.
bluesThe Queensland Maroons will be without their star fullback for Origin 1, as a troublesome hamstring continues to plague Billy Slater.
Slater ruled himself out of the match on Monday, after failing to reach 100 per cent fitness after a Sunday training session.
"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," he said in a statement.
The Maroons had a contingency plan in place if Slater didn't recover in time, with Brisbane Broncos' Anthony Milford and Newcastle Knights' Kalyn Ponga joining the the squad in Melbourne on Monday night.
"We knew we had some concerns with Billy, but he's a champion player and we needed to give him every chance to play," coach Kevin 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."
The final squad will be chosen closer to Wednesday kick-off at the MCG.
Slater missing this the series opener will put a dampener on his swansong Origin series, after the eight-time winner announced his retirement from representative duties last week.
Slater's retirement will bring an end to the Maroon Dynasty of Slater, Cameron Smith, Jonathan Thurston and Cooper Cronk, as a new generation aims to continue the domination of the past 12 years.