World Cup final win probably Slater's last Australia game

Australia full-back Billy Slater suggested the Rugby League World Cup final victory over England could be his last outing for the Kangaroos.

Despite a spirited effort from England that saw them exert long periods of pressure on the Australia line, the hosts and overwhelming tournament favourites held firm for a 6-0 victory.

Slater made what had appeared an unlikely comeback from successive shoulder injuries that derailed his career in 2015 and 2016 to help Melbourne Storm win the 2017 NRL Grand Final, while he also tasted State of Origin success with Queensland.

But retirement, at least from the international game, seemingly looms for the 34-year-old.

"I think this will probably be my last green and gold jersey," Slater said. 

"I don't what I'm doing at the end of next year, I'll more than likely retire and that'll probably mean finish up at the end of the season and let someone else take over the last Test match next year.

"I don't know 100 per cent just yet but I'll soak in this moment as if it's my last."

Cooper Cronk's move to Sydney Roosters means that this could be the last game that the Storm and Queensland's big three of Slater, Cronk and Australia captain Cameron Smith play together.

Hooker Smith said: "It's amazing, to finally get a World Cup victory on home soil, it's been quite a long time, a lot of hard work has gone into it. That was one of the toughest games I've played in my entire career.

"Really pleasing victory for the boys, it's been a fairly hard road over the last two years, we've wanted to put ourselves back to number one, we've got back-to-back World Cup victories now, very happy to have the Kangaroos back as the best team in the world.

"We spoke in the very first meeting of our campaign about defence, it wins matches but it wins tournaments as well. We conceded 16 points over six games, that's a pretty remarkable effort, especially tonight. I don't know how many tackles England had inside our 20-metre zone, they had plenty but we just kept turning them around.

"Really happy for all the boys, couple of the old fellas who've got another World Cup victory and a couple of new faces as well, their first go at a World Cup, they've won it.

"Remarkable year for the three of us [Smith, Slater and Cronk]. Club, state and now country. We're very fortunate to play in some pretty talented sides, we're very thankful we've had the opportunities we've had over our careers.

"If this is the last time we ever get to play together then it's a special memory to have for a long time."

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