Billy on outer for decider
INJURED Queensland fullback Billy Slater's valiant bid to prove his fitness for Wednesday night's Origin decider at Suncorp Stadium has apparently failed.
It was reported last night that Slater had a secret medical test on his injured knee in Melbourne yesterday and had decided to rule himself out ahead of tomorrow's deadline.
In-form South Sydney fullback Greg Inglis is expected to don the No.1 jersey.
Inglis trained at fullback at Coolum yesterday.
Dane Nielsen is tipped to make his third Origin appearance, taking Inglis's place at left centre.
In good news for Queensland, injured centre Justin Hodges (ribs) has been confirmed as a certain starter.
Maroons second-rower Dave Taylor is facing the chop for Wednesday's clash after a disappointing performance in the game two loss in Sydney.
Along with Cowboys fullback Matt Bowen - a mooted replacement for Slater - Taylor was among a small group of players who served as the opposition at training yesterday.
With Sam Thaiday returning to the second row after missing game two through injury, and Broncos hard-hitter Ben Te'o brought into the 20-man squad for this match, Taylor's position in the side is looking decidedly precarious.
Maroons interchange Matt Gillett said regardless of who was selected in the final team, every player would be up to the task.
The Bribie Island product confirmed he did not yet know whether he would take his place at Suncorp Stadium, but said there was a job to be done and the team was prepared for the challenge.
"I'm not sure yet and a few boys are unsure if they are in the team, but as soon as Mal (Meninga) makes that decision, I'm sure he'll pick the right 17 to do the job," Gillett said.
"Whoever plays there is good enough to do the job for the team.
"To be in the side and mentioned in the Queensland side is a great honour, so I'm definitely in the right headspace."
If given another chance, Gillett vowed not to disappoint.
"I'm definitely a lot more comfortable now," he said.