“Billy Slater is hungrier than ever”
Right there are six words that will get every Storm fan smiling with excitement for the upcoming season.
The superstar fullback made his return to pre-season training on Monday, joining his teammates for the second week of Storm’s training camp.
Slater ended 2017 atop the rugby league mountain once again, crowned a Premiership player and World Cup winner.
After earning those accolades on the back off a grueling two-year comeback the 34-year-old would have been forgiven for struggling for motivation heading into his 16th NRL season.
However that is just not the Slater way.
“He is hungrier than ever,” Storm assistant coach Adam O’Brien told The Daily Telegraph.
“We had some camp fire meetings at night where we discussed stuff and he spoke about his hunger levels. Straight away it was noticeable that there is a fire in his belly. You can see that in the shape that he is in and how he has gone about his training.
“You can tell Billy is ready to work.”
“Physically, mentally and the way he has conducted himself he looks like one of our rookies.
“It would’ve been hard for him and Will (Chambers) returning after achieving so much and you would be forgive them for taking time to find their feet but he came through the place running.
“You could see in the drills that he is level with or not far behind the guys who have been training for the past eight or nine weeks. He just got back from Bali and I’m not sure how much time he spent laying around the pool.
The mentality of the Storm fullback has proven to be infectious throughout the entire playing group.
“Billy makes our young kids hungrier,” O’Brien said.
“This is a guy that’s been doing it for 16 years and he is walking through the door hungrier to get better. You can roll out all the clichés you want but here is an actual visual for our younger players.”
“There is no sign of complacency. Our younger guys who had success in 2017 have come back hungrier for more. A guy like Curtis Scott who won a grand final last year has been outstanding.”