Queensland selectors name 20-man Origin squad
Billy Slater (AAP)
By 3 News online staff
Bulldogs fullback Ben Barba has missed out on a spot in the Queensland squad for next week's State of Origin series decider.
Billy Slater has been named in the extended 20-man squad, despite being out of action with a knee injury.
Coach Mal Meninga will wait until the end of the week to decide on the Melbourne custodian's fitness.
“Billy ran yesterday morning and he was very upbeat about that session,” says Meninga. “We’re gonna give him another five days, until the end of the week, to make that decision.”
Greg Inglis is ready to wear the No.1 jersey if Slater succumbs to injury, while Dane Neilsen will slot into Inglis’ left-centre spot.
Selectors are also sweating with injury concerns for Justin Hodges and Sam Thaiday, reports NRL.com, while a broken-toed Ashley Harrison has been ruled out.
Instead, Brisbane Bronco Corey Parker will have his Origin debut in the series decider next Wednesday. Teammate Ben Te’o has also joined the extended squad.
Squad: Matt Bowen, Darius Boyd, Petero Civoniceva, Cooper Cronk, Matt Gillett, Ben Hannant, Justin Hodges, Greg Inglis, Nate Myles, Dane Nielsen, Corey Parker, Matt Scott, David Shillington, Billy Slater, Cameron Smith (capt), Brent Tate, David Taylor, Ben Te'o, Sam Thaiday, Johnathan Thurston.