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Injuries rule Slater out of All Stars match

Billy Slater iinjures his shoulder representing Australia in the Four Nations in 2011.

Billy Slater iinjures his shoulder representing Australia in the Four Nations in 2011. Photo: Getty Images

Melbourne Storm officials say they hope Billy Slater will be fit for the World Club Challenge against Leeds on February 22 after he withdrew from the NRL All Stars match due to a couple of injuries.

Slater's return to Storm pre-season training has been hampered since aggravating an ankle problem and due to the removal of a plate in his shoulder from an injury suffered in the 2011 Four Nations Tour.

His time on the training field has been limited, and the Storm say he would not be at a level to play in a match of the standard of the All Stars fixture.

Replacement ... Justin O'Neill of the Storm.

Replacement ... Justin O'Neill of the Storm. Photo: Getty Images

Justin O'Neill will replace Slater after being selected by All Stars coach Wayne Bennett. This will be the 21-year olds first representative call-up.

"It's disappointing Billy won't be able to play, but I'm excited and honoured to be part of the All Stars team and I'm looking forward to playing with and against some of the best players in the competition,” O'Neill said.

"I have family living in Brisbane so it will be very special to play my first representative game in front of them.”

Four Nations 2014

Round 1
Sat, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
ENG 32 vs SAM 26 Stats
AUS 12 vs NEWZ 30 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sat, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
NEWZ vs SAM 14:00Toll Stadium
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
AUS vs ENG 16:00AAMI Park, Melbourne
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Sat, 08 NovTimes shown AEDT
NEWZ vs ENG 17:30Forsyth Barr Stadium
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
AUS vs SAM 16:00WIN
View All Fixtures
Four Nations 2014
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
New Zealand 1 1 0 0 18 2
England 1 1 0 0 6 2
Samoa 1 0 1 0 -6 0
Australia 1 0 1 0 -18 0
View all
 
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