Billy Slater Is Out Of Origin 1 Which Should Give Every NSW Fan A Stiffy

Queensland’s State of Origin chances have been dealt a massive blow, with veteran Billy Slater sensationally ruled out of Origin 1 with just two days to go thanks to a hamstring injury.

The Maroons are set to put a line through Slater, easily the most experienced Origin campaigner in their squad and the last of the modern “great” Maroons lineup, with the side expected to issue a formal statement shortly.

Slater, who had previously announced this year’s Origin series would be his last, had been carrying the hamstring injury for some time, and last played top-flight NRL on May 19th.

Slater’s withdrawal means that it will be the first time since Origin II in 2003 that a Maroons side will lineup without any of himself, Johnathon ThurstonCameron Smith, or Cooper Cronk in it. It also means that newly-installed QLD captain Greg Inglis will be the only Queensland player lining up on Wednesday with more than 10 Origin games under his belt.

It did appear as though Slater might have been able to get up for Wednesday’s enormous clash in Melbourne in front of an expected 95,000 at the MCG, however his troublesome hamstring was re-aggravated at Maroons training prior to the side flying out for Melbourne.

North Queensland five-eighth Michael Morgan is likely to run off the bench and into the QLD starting lineup in place of Slater; coach Kevin Walters has an interesting decision on his hands as to whether Morgan slots directly in at fullback, or whether Cameron Munster shifts backwards to the spot instead.

One of either Brisbane Bronco Anthony Milford or Newcastle Knight Kalyn Ponga is tipped to get the call up to join the squad in Slater’s absence.

Start blowing the dust off those Blue jumpers, NSW mates. You might want to pay attention to this one on Wednesday night.