Slater declared fit to play Test - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Slater declared fit to play Test

By Steve Jancetic 08/05/2009 07:24:57 PM Comments (0)

Australian fullback Billy Slater has been passed fit to play in Friday night's rugby league Test against New Zealand at Suncorp Stadium.

Slater rolled his ankle on Tuesday however he completed the final team training session in Brisbane.

After meeting with Kangaroos medical staff early on Friday it was confirmed he would start.

The Kiwis lost lock Jeremy Smith on Thursday, also to an ankle injury.

He was the third withdrawal for the Kiwis following Frank Pritchard (neck) and Issac Luke (suspension).

Sydney Roosters centre Iosia Soliola goes into the starting side with Simon Mannering switching to the back row to cover for Smith.

Melbourne backrower Sika Manu is into the final 17 with Brisbane youngster Alex Glenn the new 18th man.

Meanwhile, Australian Test coach Tim Sheens believes his experience with the star-studded Canberra sides of the late 1980s and early 90s provides the perfect grounding for taking the Kangaroos into a new era.

Sheens will have his first crack at Test football against New Zealand in Brisbane on Friday night, the Kangaroos looking for revenge for last year's shock World Cup final loss to their traditional rivals.

The biggest task facing Sheens is correctly using the classy Australian backline, a situation he encountered at the Raiders when the likes of Mal Meninga, Laurie Daley and Ricky Stuart were running around in lime jumpers.

Sheens said it was important the Kangaroos laid a platform up the middle against the Kiwis rather than relying on one of their brilliant attacking stars to produce the match-winning play out wide.

"I've had plenty of experience with that with the Canberra sides many years ago with `when in trouble, give it to Mal," Sheens recalled.

"That didn't always work - it did on many occasions - but often the team in those days used to rely on the individual - a Laurie Daley to do something or a Ricky or a Mal and occasionally you got away with it but on many occasions you didn't.

"I tell you plenty of times we got beat because we didn't play well as a team, and I think this Australian side has got to start playing well as a team before we start relying on individuals.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2021 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news