Foot injury fails to heal in time with skipper stepping down to avoid further speculation.
New South Wales captain Paul Gallen will miss next week’s State of Origin rugby league series decider against Queensland with a foot injury, team officials said on Friday.
The loss of the inspirational skipper is a huge blow to the Blues’ hopes of ending seven straight years of Queensland dominance in the series.
Wests Tigers prop Aaron Woods will take Gallen’s place in the side, while hooker Robbie Farah will take over the captaincy.
Gallen failed a fitness test when he ran on his injured foot for the first time at training on Friday and was still experiencing soreness from the problem sustained in the Origin game two loss in Brisbane on June 26.
Winger Jarryd Hayne was ruled out earlier in the week with a hamstring injury, making way for Newcastle Knight’s Scottish winger James McManus.
The decider takes place at ANZ stadium on Wednesday.