The Maroons will be sweating on the recuperative powers of Billy Slater after the champion fullback rolled his ankle and failed to finish today’s (Sunday) training session on the Gold Coast.
Slater fell to the ground late in the session and after clutching at his right ankle for a minute or so got to his feet only to sit back down again when he realised he would be unable to continue.
He left the field under the supervision of the Queensland medical staff and had his ankle strapped on the sidelines, receiving a rousing reception from the large number of supporters on hand as he left in a golf cart.
The only session the Maroons have between now and Wednesday night's decider at Suncorp Stadium is Tuesday's captain's run and winger Valentine Holmes remains confident that Slater will be there when they run out for Game III.
“I think he was just getting back in the defence line and went to go and I think there was a little divot in the ground,” Holmes said of the incident that brought the session against the Broncos Under 20s to a premature end.
“He's tough, he's been through a lot, hoping he's right and I'm sure he'll be okay.
“The coach will give him up until kick-off to see if he's right.
“I'm sure he'll be all right. He walked off so that's a good sign and he'll do all the recovery stuff, ice it up, rest it and what not.”
Describing Slater as his No.1 idol growing up, Holmes hopes to one day inherit the Queensland No.1 jersey from his hero, but doesn't expect to be asked to assume the role in the off chance that Slater is unable to take the field.
“I don't think he'd be calling upon me,” Holmes said. “Cameron Munster, me and 'Gags' (Dane Gagai) on the wings and then he'd have to pull another winger in because we've got 'Hunty' (Ben Hunt) on the bench.
“We'd probably just put him in the halves and 'Munny' at the back, then everyone still knows the plays.
“If he asked me, I wouldn't turn it down, but just being realistic here.
“It would be anyone's dream to play No.1 if you're a fullback playing for your club so it's definitely something that I'd love to play in but I'm just happy playing anywhere in the team.
“Just to get a spot in the team is my goal and if it ends up being fullback if I start playing good there and I get the call-up I'll take it with both hands.”