BREAKING: Queensland coach Billy Slater reacts to Maroons star…

Queensland coach Billy Slater has opened up about the loss of Xavier Coates to his Origin side, revealing that the Maroons star was very emotional after injuring his hamstring.

A shattered Coates limped off AAMI Park on Saturday night in Melbourne’s 16-6 win over Canberra after attempting to dive to the ball and had to be assisted to the change-rooms by trainers.

The injury, his second hamstring issue of the season, has ruled him out of the third Origin match in Brisbane on July 17.

Slater said he really felt for the 23-year-old, who is now facing an extended stint on the sidelines.

‘In terms of changes, there’s gonna be at least one forced change there, but the guys have got to play another round of football this weekend,’ Slater said on The Billy Slater Podcast.

‘You could see that he was visually dejected walking down the tunnel. I was sitting at home watching it and feeling for him, because I know how hard he’s worked.

‘He’s had an incredible pre-season and worked so hard throughout the season. I was actually at a training session throughout the pre-season where he actually did his hamstring … he was very emotional when he did it.

‘I’m looking forward to watching the round of football and then sitting down with Darren Lockyer and Gene Miles on Sunday night and building Queensland’s best team.’

Slater believes his side can improve on their showing in Melbourne, but admits the Blues were the better team on the night.

‘I wish I had selective memory loss, but unfortunately it’s stuck firmly in the memory … it was a disappointing night for all us Queenslanders,’ he said.


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