SYDNEY - Billy Slater has been ruled out of the NRL All Stars side as he struggles to recover from an ankle injury.
Slater's pre-season has been hampered after having a plate removed from his shoulder from an injury suffered in the 2011 Four Nations tour.
The Australian fullback's spot in the NRL All Stars side to play the Indigenous All Stars in Brisbane on February 9 will be taken by his Melbourne teammate Justin O'Neill.
"It's disappointing Billy won't be able to play, but I'm excited and honoured to be part of the NRL 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."
Slater remains hopeful of being fit for the World Club Challenge against Leeds Rhinos on February 22.