Billy Slater to retire at end of season

Billy Slater announces his retirement
Billy Slater announces his retirement

Australia full-back Billy Slater has announced he will retire at the end of the season, bringing to a close one of the most decorated rugby league careers.

Slater, 35, who has made 313 NRL appearances and won his 30th cap in the Kangaroos' World Cup final win over England in December, told his Melbourne team-mates of his decision on Wednesday morning.

Slater, a three-time Dally M full-back of the year, is hoping to bow out with a seventh Grand Final.

"I have given everything I possibly can to this game but have received so much more in return," he said. "When I first came down to Melbourne at the end of 2002 I could never have imagined I would be where I am today.

"I would like to thank all my team-mates, coaches, support staff and all the fans for the incredible support they have given me throughout my career."

Melbourne Storm chief executive Dave Donaghy said: "There are no words that could do justice for what Billy Slater has done for Melbourne Storm, the NRL and the wider rugby league community over the last 16 years.

"His on-field highlights will continue to be shown for many years to come however it is the manner in which he has carried himself off the field that will remain one of his biggest contributions.

"Billy has represented our game with nothing but class and distinction throughout his playing career."

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