Queensland captain Billy Slater has addressed reports of broken relationships between the Melbourne Storm's "Big Three" and their partners.
With State of Origin III being played in Brisbane tomorrow night, Slater was forced to respond to claims that a falling-out between his own wife Nicole and teammate Cameron Smith's wife Barbara is responsible for the relationship breakdowns surrounding himself, Smith and former teammate Cooper Cronk.
Widespread reports have blown the lid off superstar Smith's reportedly broken relationships with Slater and Cronk since the Roosters halfback's cold handshake with Smith in Adelaide during the last round.
Even before Cronk's apparent refusal to hug it out with Smith on the Adelaide Oval, reports emerged of a rift between Slater and Smith where it was indicated Slater was at a loss to understand why his captain was freezing him out.
The real depth of the sad falling out was revealed in a Sydney Morning Herald story on Sunday which reported Barb Smith and Nicole Slater fell out during the 2017 season before they all went into camp during the World Cup, which included a retreat at a Fijian resort with all the Kangaroos players' partners and children.
Slater responded to the report yesterday by insisting he remains "OK with everyone".
"I've got no problems with Cam," Slater said. "Cooper and I are fine. I'm not going to stand here and gossip about other people's relationships. As far as I'm concerned, I'm OK with everyone."
He also refused to answer follow-up questions surrounding his relationship with Smith away from the football field.
The report indicates the animosity between Smith and Cronk is even worse.
After Cronk's decision to play on with the Roosters this year after reportedly previously informing his Storm teammates that he would retire, Smith made a personal approach to sign Mitchell Pearce, who was than still undecided about potentially seeking a release from the Roosters.
Pearce was eventually granted a release by the Chooks but signed with the Newcastle Knights instead.
The Daily Telegraph reported last week Smith's relationship with Cronk reached breaking point when Smith failed to attend Cronk's wedding.