Kangaroos fullback Billy Slater has made the agonising decision to withdraw from Friday night’s trans-Tasman Test in Brisbane due to a shoulder injury.
Slater looked comfortable under countless high balls and trained impressively with the rest of the squad in Brisbane on Tuesday before making what seemed a surprise call on his fitness.
“It’s not quite right yet,” said Slater, who has missed Melbourne’s last three NRL games due to the complaint.
“It will be a lot more physical on Friday night than out there today.
“I wasn’t going to be selfish with my decision.
“You can’t be carried through a game like this.”
The call was made even tougher considering Slater missed the 2014 Four Nations campaign due to surgery on his other shoulder.
“It’s tough especially after missing last year to get my body right and give myself a chance to play these games,” he said.
“Now it’s the other shoulder.
“It’s disappointing but I am comfortable with my decision.”
There was speculation Josh Dugan may move from the wing to fullback but Slater said Greg Inglis would wear the No.1 jersey.
That ensures Michael Jennings slots into the centre vacancy.
“Greg will slip straight into the fullback role and Michael Jennings has been playing some good footy and played Four Nations last year,” Slater said.
“In terms of preparation we won’t lose anything.”