Slater to decide on Storm future after Origin III
Billy Slater plans to make a decision on his NRL future after next week's State of Origin III and has expressed his gratitude for the patience Melbourne Storm have shown.
For the second year in a row, Slater has a call to make on whether he will continue with the Storm, having opted to prolong his career into 2018 after recovering from a serious shoulder injury.
The Melbourne full-back is currently away with Queensland Maroons, ahead of his final representative appearance, and he will only consider his options after Wednesday's clash against New South Wales Blues, who hold an unassailable 2-0 lead.
"I wanted to get through the Origin series and make a decision," Slater, who is out of contract at the end of the year, told the league's official website.
"I had to make a decision last year but I left it until after the Grand Final. I was always thinking I'd play on but I wanted to make sure I was making the right one.
"I still haven't sat down and thought about my decision post this year.
"The Storm have been really good and so respectful. Last year I was coming back from a serious shoulder injury and didn't know where that was going to lead, but they haven't once pressured me and still haven't until this day."
And Storm director Frank Ponissi reiterated the team's stance: "Bill has said all along that after Origin he will give some indication of what he is doing.
"We will not be waiting the morning after Origin for a decision because we have too much respect for the man to put any undue pressure on him, but it will be in the days or weeks after Origin.
"From our point of view, we have a plan A for him to be here next year and a plan B to be without him, so we are really comfortable."