BILLY SLATER RULED OUT OF STATE OF ORIGIN OPENER

UPDATE: Billy Slater has officially been ruled out of the opening game of State of Origin.

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EARLIER:

Reports are emerging Queensland fullback Billy Slater is in serious doubt for Wednesday’s opening State of Origin match, after re-injuring his hamstring.

Slater didn’t train early last week as he battled the hamstring problem, and is believed to have injured it again at training yesterday.

Slater’s absence would be a huge blow for Queensland, who are already without the retired Cameron Smith, Johnathan Thurston and Cooper Cronk.

It’s understood Newcastle fullback Kalyn Ponga and Brisbane five-eighth Anthony Milford will join the squad in Melbourne as cover.