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Game Action  :Digital Image  Grant Trouville © NRLphotos  : NRL Rugby League - 2016 Auckland 9s - Day Two Auckland Auckland 9s at EDEN PARK AUCKLNAD NZ. Sunday February 7th 2016.

Billy Slater is reaching the end of his comeback trail and has Round 1’s clash against the Dragons firmly in his sights.

The star fullback has been sidelined with a shoulder injury since Game 2 of last year’s State of Origin series.

He was not named in Storm’s team to take on the Bulldogs in Saturday’s trial but the experienced campaigner is still marking his comeback game to be the Club’s season opener against the Dragons on March 7 at AAMI Park.

“It was expected to take this long, I am still hopeful of being there in Round 1, I expect to be there,” Slater said on SEN Radio.

“I’ve still got to get through a bit of contact over the next two and a half weeks.

“(Injuries) are part and parcel of our game. In my situation I was carrying an injury through last year and a lot of people do carry injuries through the year so it is just something you’ve got to manage.”

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He also backed the Club’s emerging crop of young talent to take yet another big step forward in 2016.

Young Tonumaipea and Richie Kennar impressed at the Auckland Nines, while Nelson Asofa-Solomona and Curtis Scott also showed plenty of promise in last week’s trial against Wests Tigers on the Sunshine Coast.

“The young guys that have come through… there is a number of them that will draw on their experience from last year and hopefully go to that next level and take us along with it,” Slater said.

“At Storm we are always looking to improve, individually and collectively as a side so hopefully we can take our game to another level.”

Tickets for the 2016 NRL season have gone on sale this week. Click here to secure your seat at AAMI Park. 


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Melbourne Storm respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.