Melbourne Storm congratulates its champion fullback Billy Slater, who today announced he will retire from all representative football at the end of the 2018 Origin Series.
One of the greatest fullbacks to have played the game, Slater calls time on a remarkable representative career that has seen him play 30 Tests for Australia and by the end of the Origin series will have seen him suit up for the maroons on 32 occasions.
On Monday Slater was announced in the Queensland side for the 12th time in his career, having made his debut for the Maroons in 2004. It was in that series his went down in Origin folklore with his 'kick and chase' try in Game 2 at Suncorp Stadium, widely regarded as one of the best tries in Origin history.
Fourteen years later, he is still lighting the representative stage with his electrifying pace, ball running and big defensive plays.
He has been the custodian of the Kangaroos number 1 jersey for 30 Tests, including two World Cup victories.
Having missed the representative calendar of 2016 due to injury and the first game of the 2017 Origin series, Slater returned to the Origin arena last season and won his 8th series in maroon colours. He finished the season with a starring role in Storm's Premiership winning the Clive Churchill Medal and then played a major role in Australian World Cup triumph.
His 30th Origin appearance on Wednesday week at the MCG will see him awarded Queensland's respected the Stateman's Award for the milestone, placing him 10th for most games played for the Maroons. If he plays every game in the series he'll climb to 7th spot joining Mal Meninga and Nate Myles.
A fan favourite on the field, Slater has grown into one of the game's most admired and respected ambassadors off it.
Melbourne Storm CEO Dave Donaghy paid tribute to Slater following the announcement.
"Few players have been able to accomplish what Billy has in the game at State and International level and a big part of that is due to how hard he works.
"For his 59 matches at representative level he has provided Queensland and Australian fans with thrilling and iconic moments and has always represented those teams with distinction, pride and passion.
"Everyone at Melbourne Storm is extremely proud of what Billy has achieved, in such a demanding arena that is representative football. We congratulate him, his wife Nicole and children Tyla and Jake on his career and wish them the best for the Origin Series."
The teams are in! Witness Australia's greatest sporting rivalry when Holden State of Origin comes to the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Wednesday, June 6. Tickets available at NRL.com/tickets.
Billy Slater – Representative career
30 Tests - 2008-2014, 2017
World Cup 2008, 2013 (win), 2017 (win)
Four Nations 2009-2011
29 games - 2004-05, 2008-15, 2017
Wally Lewis Medallist – 2010
Dick "Tosser" Turner Medal - (20 games for Qld)
Peter Jackson Effort award - 2016
Dally M Rep Player of the Year 2010