Billy Slater at a Queensland training session at Sanctuary Cove in Melbourne on Sunday. Picture: Adam Head
Billy Slater at a Queensland training session at Sanctuary Cove in Melbourne on Sunday. Picture: Adam Head

It's official: Billy Slater out of Origin I

BILLY Slater has been ruled out of Origin 1 on Wednesday night after injuring his hamstring at a Queensland training session on Sunday.

The Daily Telegraph broke the news the 35-year-old had been scratched, leaving the Maroons scrambling for a replacement at fullback. Newcastle's Kalyn Ponga and Brisbane's Darius Boyd are now back in the mix.

The Maroons outfit has already lost dozens of games of experience after the Origin retirements of veteran trio Cameron Smith, Johnathan Thurston and Cooper Cronk. Depending on the severity of the injury, Slater's days are numbered too given he's already declared this year would be his last with Queensland.

Morgan joked that he may not even have his Cowboys fullback gig when he returns from Maroons camp after fill-in No.1 Lachlan Coote helped inspire North Queensland's NRL win over Manly on Thursday.

"I thought Cootey had a pretty good game the other night. Actually Greeny (Cowboys coach Paul Green) rang me up after the game and said 'no rush back fellas, good luck on Wednesday'," Morgan laughed.

"Who knows, I might go back to the (Cowboys feeder side Townsville) Blackhawks."

Instead of taking over the Maroons No.7 jersey, Morgan had been relegated back to the bench utility role he first filled in his 2015 Origin debut.

Morgan was expecting to make his eighth bench appearance in his ninth Origin on Wednesday after his sole Maroons start in game three last year in the centres.

While disappointed to have missed a rare chance to nail down a Maroons halves start, Morgan was convinced his Queensland stint could catapult him back to his 2017 form.

"I wanted to come in with a fresh mindset, leave what happened at clubland there for a little while, enjoy the week here and that is what I have done," Morgan said.

- with AAP

Slater is in doubt. Pics Adam Head
Slater is in doubt. Pics Adam Head
The injury must have happened after this. AAP Image/Dave Hunt
The injury must have happened after this. AAP Image/Dave Hunt


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