Injured Queensland fullback Billy Slater says he’s comfortable jeopardising his NRL season to play in Origin II given the series is on the line.
Injured Queensland fullback Billy Slater is set on playing in the second State of Origin match even if it means jeopardising his NRL season with the Melbourne Storm.
Slater was amongst a long injury list from last Wednesday night’s high-intensity opening clash, described by players from both sides as the most ferocious they had ever encountered.
The 30-year-old suffered a sprained shoulder but said he would do everything he could to be fit for game two on June 18 in Sydney.
When asked if that meant jeopardising his immediate playing future with the Storm, Slater said he would.
“If I could go through 80 minutes and not be a liability for Queensland I’ll be playing mate,” he said.
Speaking on Monday at the announcement that game two of next year’s Origin series will be played at the MCG, Slater was already out of his sling.
His Storm and Queensland teammate Cooper Cronk broke his arm early in Origin I but Slater rated the halfback a chance for game three back in Brisbane on July 9.
“I’m no doctor but I’ve heard six to eight weeks and eight to 12 weeks so it all comes down to … what happens in a month,” Slater said.
“Knowing Cooper he will be doing everything he can to get it right.”
Queensland skipper Cameron Smith, who quickly recovered from an ankle injury to play for the Storm on the weekend, has ruled out moving from hooker to five-eighth with Johnathan Thurston taking over Cronk’s halfback jersey.
He said Daly Cherry-Evans, who replaced Cronk, would stay in the role and be better for the run.
“If Daly’s fit he’ll be in the halves with Johnathan, there’s no doubt about that,” Smith said.
“Unfortunately Daly didn’t get an opportunity to train in the halves at all during the camp, it was more preparing him to get on and play in the ruck.”
Smith said his side could take confidence out of getting so close despite the disruption of losing the game’s best No.7 after just 10 minutes.
“That’s a positive for our team is that we only lost by four points,” he said.
“Although NSW was better than us on the night, giving Daly some time to prepare, I think we will a better footy side.”