Billy Slater Unsure If He'll Play On

Hanging up the boots?

Billy Slater Unsure If He'll Play On

Melbourne have opened preliminary talks with Billy Slater's management for 2018, but the champion NRL fullback is unsure if he wants to play on.

Slater, who will turn 34 this month, has starred for the Storm since returning from back-to-back career-threatening shoulder surgeries in the past two years.

However, he is off contract the end of the season, and doesn't expect to make a call until after this year's State of Origin series as he attempts to win back his Queensland spot.

"I haven't made a decision," Slater said.

"The club have started preliminary talks with my manager but I think they're waiting on me to say yes or no.

"I just need a little bit more time."

If Slater was to retire after this season, he and Cooper Cronk would leave the Storm over the same off-season.

At the top of the 289-game veteran's concerns is whether he can put his body through another full season of NRL.

In terms of ability, there are no question marks over whether Slater still has the skills.

He has set up 12 tries in 11 matches this year and broken through 45 tackles to help the Storm keep top spot on the NRL ladder.

He has also climbed to 177 career tries, just three short of second-placed Steve Menzies' 180 on the try-scoring list.

"I still want to improve on my performances," he said.

"I'm still filthy when I make a mistake or do something that I could have done better. That's why I'm here - that's why I'm competing."

But whether he can maintain that desire for another full year is the sticking point.

"I just want to be 100 per cent sure that I can put 100 per cent of myself physically into next year.

"And if I can do that, I will go around again.

"I don't want to jump in at 80 or 90 per cent. That's not me. That's not what I'm about."

- AAP

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