Slater keen to see out NRL career at Storm - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Slater keen to see out NRL career at Storm

Guy Hand 18/08/2011 12:55:39 PM Comments (0)

Melbourne's Billy Slater hopes his 200th match is another step towards becoming the rarest of commodities in modern rugby league - a one-club player.

Test and Origin superstar Slater wants to play out his career at the Storm, and is well on the way with his current contract to expire at the end of 2015 - when he will be 32.

But with contracts under constant squeeze in the salary cap-driven NRL and lucrative late-career top-ups waiting in England, there are few one-club players any more.

As Slater prepares for his 200th match for the Storm since his 2002 debut, the Queensland fullback hopes he can become one of them.

"To play 200 games and stay down here for nine years now, it's something I'm very proud of and I hope I'm down here for a long time to come," Slater said.

"When my contract expires, I'll be 32. That will be - if not the whole lot of my career - a big part of it.

"I've been very fortunate to be one of the few players who has the opportunity to stay at one club for his whole career.

"With the salary cap and all those issues, it's very hard for players to stay at their beloved clubs."

Slater's milestone comes on Friday night in a huge game for Melbourne who play St George Illawarra at AAMI Park, with the Storm on an 11-match winning streak and top of the table.

The Dragons have lost their past four and Slater believes that makes the premiers a dangerous proposition.

"They're coming off a pretty tough month but we know what they're capable of," Slater said.

The Storm will be without injured halfback Cooper Cronk, and Slater admits the clever playmaker's absence will have an effect on his own game - the pair having teamed up at club, Origin and Test level.

"I haven't played a game of footy without Coops for a long time so we'll just have to wait and see how that unfolds," Slater said.

"It'll affect my game a little bit, but we've got guys like Gareth Widdop (Cronk's replacement at halfback) who have really stood up for us this year ... and Cameron Smith can move into the halves and set stuff up for us outside guys."

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