Slater: Nines a great concept
A participant in rugby league's venture into the shortened format of the game back in 2003, Storm fullback Billy Slater says the Nines tournament has a place in the game.
Speaking to the media at a break in Storm's Community Carnival visits on Thursday, Slater supported the game's experiment with the nine a side format.
"Its a great concept, I played in the Sevens in 2003 and loved my time there," Slater said.
"I think it can get off the ground and who knows where it can go.
"The boys will be very focused and would like to achieve the best they can and take it into our season.
"I'm sure they're all looking forward to playing footy, they've been training for at least three months now.
"I think its got its place in rugby league, where its played and when its played is something for the administration of the NRL to look at but I think its a great concept and can create some very exciting rugby league."
Slater returned to Storm along with the club's other World Cup representatives in late January and has since began to join in training as he returns from a diagnostic arthroscope on his left knee, received over the Christmas break. The fullback is confident he is progressing well.
"The goal is to be right for Round 1," Slater said.
"Everything I have done so far looks promising; I'm starting a bit of running now, game one is the target.
"I've said in the past hopefully I can get a bit of a trial in but if I don't get that trial I won't be too worried, I'd rather the fortnight up my sleeve to really get my knee right."