Billy Slater says he understands the reasons behind his much-talked-about omission from the Queensland Maroons squad for next week's State of Origin opener.
A hugely influential figure for Queensland for more than a decade, superstar full-back Slater returned from a prolonged injury lay-off in March and has impressed with his displays for Melbourne Storm.
However, Brisbane Broncos skipper Darius Boyd has retained the number-one jersey for the Maroons, meaning Slater must wait to make his representative comeback.
Queensland coach Kevin Walters was visibly emotional as he discussed the "difficult" decision on Monday.
Reflecting on the snub, Slater told Channel Nine's The Footy Show: "I understand it was a really tough decision to make."
He added: "It was obviously disappointing for myself to get the news a couple of days ago. That's not saying I deserve to be there over anyone else, it just means so much to me to play for Queensland. It's just going to be hard watching when I'm fully fit.
"I spoke to Kevvy the week leading into the selection and he was 50-50, he didn't know which way to go.
"I understand it, I respect the decision that the three selectors had to go with.
"The support has been amazing and I really do appreciate it, but at the end of the day we're all Queenslanders and we're all here for the same cause, we all want the same result at the end of the day.
"So I'll be like every other Queenslander and I'll be cheering the Maroons at home next Wednesday and I'm sure they're going to do a good job."