Slater backed as future coach

07 October 2017 20:21:15 GMTPlus11

Cameron Munster believes Melbourne Storm superstar Billy Slater could make a quick transition into full-time coaching when he hangs up his boots.

Slater confirmed this week, in the wake of the Storm's NRL Grand Final victory over North Queensland, that he would play on in 2018.

The champion full-back returned this season from a two-year injury hiatus in which he'd played just two NRL games.

Back-to-back shoulder reconstructions threatened to bring an early close to his decorated career, but his team-mate Munster says he actually benefitted during his time on the sidelines.

The Storm five-eighth and Kangaroos debutant is convinced Slater, who spent plenty of time mentoring him while he was injured, learned some important lessons.

"He went through a lot of adversity in those two years pretty much doing the same thing all the time for two years straight, the rehab," said Munster.

"He could have kicked stones but instead he decided to help me out and it was one of the reasons we made the grand final last year, was the work he did with us in our attack. He's probably going to be an even better coach as well if he decides to give that a go.

"He's pretty smart, got a lot of knowledge about the game and I feel like he could be a really good coach after his career."

Slater may well opt to quit at the end of next year, as he's only re-signed for one season in the wake of his Clive Churchill Medal win in the premiership decider.

Already, though, Munster says his teammate has changed the game of rugby league from a fullback's perspective.

"I wouldn't have learned as much as I have in the past three or four years if it wasn't for him and Cooper Cronk. I'm really grateful for that and hopefully I can pass that knowledge on a little bit more to a couple of the younger boys in the next couple of years," added Munster.

Melbourne Storm are 7.00 to win the 2018 NRL Grand Final, while they are 1.25 to finish in the top eight.

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