Brent Tate sweats on Billy Slater's World Cup final fitness

26 November 2013 1:02 PM

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Brent Tate sweats on Billy Slater's World Cup final fitness

Aside from Billy Slater himself, nobody will be sweating on the Kangaroos full-back's World Cup final availability more than veteran centre Brent Tate.

While Tate is hoping his Queensland state of origin teammate recovers from a knee injury in time to face New Zealand on Saturday, the North Queensland player stands to benefit should Slater be ruled out.

Tate earned a recall to the Australian side for Saturday's 64-0 semi-final win over Fiji but Slater's return would likely see him dropped from the starting team, with Greg Inglis moving back into the centres.

That wouldn't necessarily mean the end of Tate's World Cup final dream, however, with Kangaroos coach Tim Sheens considering using the 31-year-old off the bench at Old Trafford.

Tate faces several days of uncertainty with Slater's fitness to be determined later in the week but he's desperate to be a part of the final 17 having cruelly missed out on the 2008 final, which Australia lost to the Kiwis, due to injury.

''He [Slater] was one of a couple of us that was there in 2008 so I know he'd be desperate to play. We're all desperate to play,'' Tate said. ''If he is right, hopefully there might be a spot somewhere there for me, I don't know.

''The earlier I know probably the better it'd be but at the end of the day, you've just got to wait and see what happens.


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