Up and running: Billy Slater.

Up and running: Billy Slater. Photo: Getty Images

Billy Slater is confident of taking his place at fullback for Australia in the World Cup final at Old Trafford after surviving a physical battering from Greg Inglis at training on Wednesday.

Slater trained with the team for the first time since injuring his knee in the quarter-final win over the US and appeared to run freely, but Kangaroos coach Tim Sheens kicked the media out of the session before subjecting him to a searching workout.

The star fullback said afterwards he felt good and Sheens will select him in a 19-man squad to be named on Thursday, but a final decision on whether Slater plays won't be made until just before kick-off.

"It felt all right, so I just have to wait and see how it pulls up now, but hopefully I will be all right," Slater said.

"It was a positive to get out there and train with the boys, and I came through that all right so the big thing now is just how it pulls up."

Sheens said Slater would be subjected to ongoing fitness tests each day until the match on Saturday, with Inglis to revert to fullback if Slater was ruled out.

"He got manhandled, tackled, he did everything – it was full on," Sheens said.

"He went in the air, he did what he had to do which was game-related, game-standard defence.

"GI actually flattened him. I think GI wanted the spot."

Australian captain Cameron Smith, who has played with Slater at Melbourne for his entire career, said Slater's return for the final would be a massive boost for the Kangaroos.

"It was great to see Billy running with the side; I think everyone is fairly buoyed by that and hopefully he will pull up all right," Smith said.

"He got a fair workout today, I'll tell you that. Big Inglis got hold of him a couple of times and threw him around. He had to tackle a few of our forwards and a few of our guys got stuck into tackling him.

"He looked pretty good, he wasn't hobbling or sore. The issue that he has had is with the swelling around his knee; there is not any damage, it is just the swelling. I think the medical staff have a pretty good feeling about him playing."

If Slater does make it onto the field, Inglis will move to left centre in place of Brent Tate and Sheens is undecided about whether to play the North Queensland veteran from the bench as he has no real cover for an injury to the outside backs.

However, if he feels the need to include Tate, just in case Slater doesn't get through the match, then he won't include the fullback.

New Zealand coach Stephen Kearney is adopting the same attitude towards the fitness of left winger Manu Vatuvei and second-rower Frank Pritchard, who missed the semi-final win over England with groin and hamstring injuries, respectively.

Right winger Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, whose two tries in the 20-18 win over England took his total for the tournament to eight, has recovered from an ankle injury.

"Manu Vatuvei trained fully with the group today," Kearney said. "We'll just have to wait and see how he pulls up from today's session and maybe call on him tomorrow.

"Frank Pritchard is going to have a run in the morning, which we'll make a call on also. Those are two main concerns.

"Alex Glenn and Jason Nightingale are good to go if it doesn't work out for those two."