Billy Slater confirms rep future.
Billy Slater says he will make himself available for representative duties in 2018 in a huge boost for the Maroons and Kangaroos.
The fullback was yet to confirm his representative future after recently signing a one-year deal with Melbourne.
Slater said he would play all formats should he gain selection.
“Once I decided I was playing on next year. It wasn’t a decision to play rep footy or not,” Slater said ahead of the Kangaroos’ World Cup quarter-final against Samoa on Friday.
“It was a decision to play or not and I decided to go around another year.
“More than likely that’ll be my last year so I’m looking forward to playing all forms of the game.”
Slater will return to the Kangaroos’ starting side after being rested for last week’s match against Lebanon.
Coach Mal Meninga said Slater’s 2018 Kangaroos aspirations would depend on how he was travelling at club level for the Storm.
“He’s got to be playing well. He’s got to be fit and healthy too,” Meninga said. “It’s a long way away but the way he’s playing at the moment, the way he looks after himself, I can’t see any reason why he can’t be No.1 at the end of next year as well.”
Slater has made the ultimate comeback from a two-year injury layoff, helping the Maroons claim the Origin series and Melbourne win the Premiership.
He said representing his country after overcoming so many obstacles made the experience even more special.
“You always appreciate the opportunities that you get when you play representative footy, especially for your country, but I’m 34 now and I’m not silly,” he said.
“I know it’s coming towards the end. This might be the last time I might be able to play in the green and gold jersey. I’m certainly relishing the moment.
“I feel great and my body’s better now than it was 12 months ago. I’m really enjoying my footy as I’ve done all year. When you miss a couple of years you enjoy it because you’ve got it again.”