Champion fullback inks new deal
Billy Slater is set to finish his illustrious NRL career in a purple jersey after re-signing with Melbourne Storm for two years.
The champion fullback was due to come out of contract at the end of the season but has penned a new deal with the Club that will extend his career to 15 seasons at the top level.
Storm’s deal with Slater, 32, will see the Queensland and Australian player in reach of the coveted 300 game milestone, with the long-time No. 1 currently sitting on 277 first grade matches.
Slater said the idea of playing somewhere else has never crossed his mind.
“I’m thrilled to get an opportunity to remain at Melbourne Storm, I’ve never once entertained the prospect of playing anywhere else but for this Club.
“I’m very fortunate to be in this position and grateful for the opportunity Storm has given me, not just for this contract, but for the 15 years prior to this also.”
Slater joined Storm from feeder club Brisbane North’s in the QLD Cup competition back in 2001 and two years later made his NRL debut in Round 1, 2003, which was also Craig Bellamy’s first game as head coach.
Despite sustaining an injury in Round 5 that would rule him out for the season five weeks later, Slater started the year in the damaging form fans have become accustomed to.
In Round 9 against Parramatta Slater’s two tries saw him take the game record for most tries scored for a single club and currently sits third on the list of all-time try scorers on 172.
The Innisfail local’s attacking flair and diligence in defence has thrilled crowds through the years, propelling Storm to the ultimate success in the NRL while also becoming a mainstay at fullback for his state and country.
After 13 years, Slater has transformed from a raw teenager into rugby league’s premier fullback, developing into not only a Storm legend but also a prominent figure within Melbourne’s competitive sporting landscape.
Slater is focused on the 2016 season after his year was prematurely ended after State of Origin 2. He has commenced his recovery program and his trademark work ethic will see him join his teammates when they commence pre-season training for next season.