Storm’s Slater ready for life after league

Billy Slater says he’s still to decide on his future but he’s making plans for life after league should the NRL grand final be his last game.

The Melbourne Storm fullback’s first job was as a track work jockey and his ties to horses remain strong.

As well as soaking up Melbourne’s 30-0 preliminary final thumping of Brisbane Slater last Friday night, Slater also celebrated the birth of a colt to a mare he has at a stud in country Victoria.

Called Written Tycoon, the foal has bloodlines back to the great stallion Danehill.

“I was still up because I have trouble sleeping after a game so I was obviously very excited about the game and that we’re going to be playing in a grand final and then getting the news that my mare foaled a little colt was good,” Slater said.

“It’s something that I’m really interested in and I have been since I was a little boy and I’ve got the opportunity to own a couple of brood mares now so that will be something I will pursue post footy.”

The 34-year-old has delayed a call on his future until post-grand final but says the result against North Queensland on Sunday won’t have a bearing.

“It won’t come into it – the decision is for myself physically and whether I feel I can play next year and I haven’t made that decision yet.”

With his past two seasons, including last year’s grand final, cruelled by two shoulder reconstructions, Slater says he’s soaking up the week.

“It really hurt not playing and sitting back and watching my team playing big games really lit the fire to get back and want to be a part of it again,” he said.

The Test custodian said he never feared the Storm’s premiership window had closed on him, only that his body might not be up to it.

He said his shoulder was back to 100 per cent.

“I didn’t fear the opportunity wouldn’t come around again but I certainly feared my body wouldn’t let me play again.

“I was always willing to work hard but physically I didn’t know whether my body was going to recover to an extent that I could play in the NRL again.”

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