League: Stewart, Slater out of Origin decider

Stewart partially tore the medial ligament during the Sea Eagles' clash with Melbourne two weeks ago. Photo / Getty Images.
Stewart partially tore the medial ligament during the Sea Eagles' clash with Melbourne two weeks ago. Photo / Getty Images.

Glenn Stewart will miss next Wednesday's State of Origin decider in Brisbane after failing a fitness test on his injured knee.

The Manly back-rower partially tore the medial ligament during the Sea Eagles' clash with Melbourne two weeks ago, but was named in an extended squad by Blues coach Ricky Stuart last Sunday.

Stewart has not trained with the rest of the squad since joining camp last Monday and has undergone intense physiotherapy all week.

However, after undergoing running drills with the Blues' medical team yesterday at Kogarah Oval, the 28-year-old was ruled out of the Suncorp Stadium showdown and will be replaced by St George Illawarra's Beau Scott.

Scott played in two of last year's three games and will line up on the right-hand side, with Tony Williams filling the bench spot after Trent Merrin was sent back to the Dragons on Thursday.

Meanwhile, a shattered Billy Slater says his decision to miss the Origin series decider was the toughest he's had to make.

Queensland coach Mal Meninga confirmed reports the champion fullback would miss game three, with South Sydney star Greg Inglis to wear the No1 jersey.

Melbourne's Dane Nielsen comes into the centres for just his third game for Queensland.

Slater, who has been a match-winner for the Maroons in the past, made a bold bid to overcome a knee injury suffered in Queensland's 16-12 second game loss in Sydney earlier this month. However he made the tough call not to play after a private fitness test on Thursday in Melbourne because he wanted the Queensland players to have ample time to make the adjustment.

Queensland officials confirmed North Queensland's Matt Bowen and South Sydney forward Dave Taylor had been released from camp to play for their NRL clubs at the weekend.

- AAP

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