NRL legend and one of the all-time greatest ever Melbourne Storm players Billy Slater is set to call time on his storied career, with an announcement that he will retire expected this afternoon.
Slater is set to front media at 1pm today to confirm this season will be his final one, with the 35-year-old bringing his 16-year NRL career to a close.
Slater’s illustrious career will end as the Storm’s greatest ever try-scorer, in a 16-season run that saw him pick up two NRL Premierships (four if you’re being technical), a Clive Churchill Medal, a Dally M Medal, as well as a remarkably successful rep footy career with Queensland and Australia.
The retirement of Billy Slater also puts one more nail in the coffin of the Storm’s “Big Three” golden era, following the retirement of Cooper Cronk. Only Cameron Smith maintains an active career at this point.
Storm officials had previously stated that they would not push either Slater or Smith to make decisions on their playing future, however today’s announcement will put speculation to bed on Slater’s behalf.
Despite his retirement, Slater remains one of the premier players in the league, having secured the Wally Lewis Medal for player of the State of Origin series just last month, doing so in Queensland’s losing effort against New South Wales.
With Slater gone, the door at fullback swings wide open at the Storm, with the 2019 season set to feature a decided different-look Melbourne side for the first time in recent memory.
Bloody hell yeah, Billy Slater. One of the all-time greats.Source: NRL.com
Image: Getty Images / Mark Kolbe