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Billy Slater says Kaufusi is still in Origin mix despite ‘silly act’

Billy Slater State of Origin news
(Picture: WWOS)

Queensland coach Billy Slater says Dolphin’s forward Felise Kaufusi’s high tackle which could rule him out of the opening State of Origin clash in Adelaide was a “silly act” but had not caused any selection dramas.

Kaufusi, Queensland’s chief enforcer in most of his 14 Origin games to date, was sent to the sin bin for a swinging arm on former Melbourne teammate Christian Welch in the opening minutes of Saturday’s clash.

Queensland will name its 17-man Origin squad tomorrow morning.

Dolphin’s coach Wayne Bennett would have been filthy with Kaufusi’s dumb play given discipline is one of his golden rules.

“We haven’t selected our team yet, so it hasn’t caused any disruptions,” said Slater on Channel 9’s Wide World of Sports rugby league segment.

“It’s unfortunate for Felise because he has already spent a fair bit of time on the sideline not that long ago.

“I thought it was a silly act.”

Slater also admitted it was “not a good look” to see likely Queensland fullback Kalyn Ponga undergo yet another head assessment playing for Newcastle Knights during their 26-6 loss to Cronulla.

Ponga is tipped to beat Brisbane sensation Reece Walsh to the Queensland fullback role.

Asked if he was concerned by the fact Ponga had been forced to undergo another head knock test Slater said he and fellow selectors Gene Miles and Darren Lockyer would look at all the facts before deciding on their squad.

“We will discuss everything tonight and will discuss who is available.” he said.

“Everything will be put on the table and we will build our best team from there.

“We all know Kalyn’s history and for him to go off the field wasn’t great for him.

“But moments after he came back on the field, he scored a try and he made some big tackles, so it didn’t look like it affected him too much.”

Gold Coast forward David Fifita has come right into selection contention with Kaufusi’s suspension as Queensland reshuffle their engine room following the decision by long-service prop Josh Papalii to retire from representative football.

Queensland are currently +115 in NRL betting to win the NRL State Of Origin with the best sports betting sites.

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