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Billy Slater – One of the Greats in Rugby?

Billy Slater – One of the Greats in Rugby?

One of the fast-rising stars of the Melbourne Storm is talented fullback Billy Slater. At this stage of his career, the promising 27-year-old has been compared to legends of Ruby League such as Dally Messenger. He is a force to be reckoned with in the National Rugby League (NRL) and his fan base doesn’t only include rugby fanatics hailing from NSW to Queensland but extends to the rest of the rugby-loving world. League pundits are impressed by his maneuvers on the field as well as the titles he has reaped throughout his stint with Melbourne which he is staunchly loyal too. Billy Slater is such a sought-after asset of the Melbourne Storm that an off-contract Slater creates a bidding frenzy among vying clubs just waiting to snag him away from the club and into their fold.

Billy displayed his interest in the sport at a young age of 4 by playing for the Innisfail Brothers Club in Queensland. His hometown is proud of their famous football hero that last year the local sports oval at Callendar Park was named the Billy Slater Oval. It’s an honor that no other 26-year-old in the history of the league has accomplished. Among Slater’s other achievements, carrying the try record scoring for Storm with 115 and being voted the best player in the world by winning the Rugby League International Football (RLIF) Awards and the Golden Boot Awards both in 2008 are also his career milestones.

For those who don’t have a passing acquaintance of the league and its roster of superstar players, the up and coming legend of the Storm just signed a new deal with the team and it looks like he’ll be sticking by and with them. Billy Slater is a formidable powerhouse who takes a game by the horns yet also knows how to be team player. Though he was responsible for a sloppy pass that lead to the victory of the Kiwis in the 2008 World Cup final, by no means is Slater invulnerable to mistakes, yet he is the kind of athlete that doesn’t let one snag define or ruin their game or the rest of their career. He has his share of critics and detractors from other clubs, but this just reinforces the fact that he is certainly a lethal figure when it comes down to separating the winners from the losers.

Slater has gone a long way from being a cheeky Innisfail junior footy to parade-worthy rugby league great. From ‘Billy the Pest,’ his exceptional skills and signature chip-and-chase technique earned him the title ‘Billy the Kid’ and the admiration of channel 9 veteran commentator Ray Warren while the rest of the rugby league world watched the captivating rookie dominate the arena and followed his flourishing career in awe. Today Slater is considered a poster boy of the NRL and his choice to stay until 2014 with Storm is inspirational not only to the rest of the players in the club but also to new raw talent that want to penetrate the team and play alongside this phenomenal athlete.