QUEENSLAND coach Mal Meninga played down the absence of match-winning centres Greg Inglis and Justin Hodges after both failed to take any part in the training session at Sanctuary Cove on the Gold Coast.

Melbourne Storm fullback Billy Slater went some way to dispelling concerns over the shoulder injury, which forced him to pull out of the Australian Test side earlier this month, by completing the session, the failure of both centres to train was a major concern despite Meninga's assurance neither player was considered in doubt for Wednesday night's series opener in Sydney.

"Billy was pain free so I'm reasonably confident he's going to play," Meninga said after Queensland finished the session in the dark.

"Hodgo cut his foot, I don't know how, but it's on top of the foot which shouldn't cause too many issues - he probably got a few stitches. Greg (Inglis) has got a viral issue and he's on antibiotics at the moment . He is isolated from the other players.

"We're just hoping it's a 24 hour bug."

 

Queensland rushed Newcastle Knights centre Dane Gagai, who can cover fullback and centre, into camp in time for him to run with the team, along with Cowboys utility Michael Morgan who has replaced Daly Cherry-Evans (shoulder).

Morgan looked extremely sharp during the 75-minute session and seems likely to make his Origin debut ahead of young Roosters forward Dylan Napa.

NSW meanwhile had its own injury concerns with speedster Michael Jennings clearly hampered by a knee problem.

 


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