World Cup 2013: Australia name Billy Slater in final 13

Rugby League World Cup: Australia and New Zealand captains prepare for final

Australia have named full-back Billy Slater in their starting 13 for the World Cup final against New Zealand.

Slater missed the semi-final win over Fiji after aggravating a knee injury in the quarter-final against the USA, but was able to train on Wednesday.

A final decision on his fitness will be made on Saturday, the day of the game.

New Zealand are without forward Frank Pritchard and Manu Vatuvei is doubtful but fellow wing Roger Tuivasa-Sheck has been passed fit.

Pritchard and Vatuvei missed the thrilling semi-final win over England with groin and hamstring injuries respectively.

Coach Stephen Kearney has called up former Leeds second row Greg Eastwood as cover for Pritchard, while Jason Nightingale is also in the squad.

Australia coach Tim Sheens, meanwhile, said Greg Inglis will once more deputise at full-back if Slater fails to recover and that both players filled the position during training.

And captain Cameron Smith revealed Inglis, who will revert to centre if Slater is fit to play, has been leading the battle to get the Melbourne player fit.

"He got a fair work-out today, I'll tell you that," Smith said. "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.

"The one thing I can say is that he'll give himself every opportunity. He's very diligent with his recovery and his rehab and he'll be working around the clock to get himself right.

"The issue he's had is not so much the damage in his knee, because he hasn't got much in there to damage. He's already got rid of all his ligaments in his knee. It's just the swelling in there."

Australia team: B Slater (Melbourne); B Morris (St George Illawarra), J Hayne (Parramatta), G Inglis (South Sydney), D Boyd (Newcastle); J Thurston (North Queensland), C Cronk (Melbourne); M Scott (North Queensland), C Smith (Melbourne, capt), J Tamou (North Queensland), G Bird (Gold Coast), S Thaiday (Brisbane), P Gallen (Cronulla).

Substitutes: D Cherry-Evans (Manly), A Fifita (Cronulla), C Parker (Brisbane), J Papalii (Canberra) or B Tate (North Queensland).

New Zealand team: K Locke (NZ Warriors); R Tuivasa-Sheck (Sydney Roosters), D Whare (Penrith), B Goodwin (South Sydney), M Vatuvei (NZ Warriors); K Foran (Manly), S Johnson (NZ Warriors); J Waerea-Hargreaves (Sydney Roosters), I Luke (South Sydney), J Bromwich (Melbourne), S Mannnering (NZ Warriors, capt), S B Williams (Sydney Roosters), E Taylor (NZ Warriors).

Substitutes: A Glenn (Brisbane), S Kasiano (Canterbury Bulldogs), B Matulino, F-P Nu'uausala (Sydney Roosters).

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