Billy Slater to retire from representative rugby league

Drew Darbyshire

Billy Slater has announced that he will retire from representing Australia and Queensland at the end of the 2018 State of Origin series.

The 34-year-old has called time on a remarkable representative career that has seen him earn 30 caps for Australia and play 29 games for the Maroons to date.

Slater was named in the Queensland side for the 12th time in his career on Monday, having made is State of Origin debut in 2004.

And the full-back said it feels right that the 2018 State of Origin series will be his last.

He said: “I just feel it’s time.

“I’m 35 this year. This will be my 15th year for Queensland.

“I had a fair indication that the World Cup last year would be the last time I played for Australia. It’s been on my mind for a while.

“I always felt this would be my last Origin series.”

Slater has followed in the footsteps of Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk and Johnathan Thurston with the recent announcement of his retirement.

But he insists the future of the Maroons is bright.

He added: “We say goodbye to Cam, Cooper and Johnathan who have been fantastic players for Queensland over a long period of time and have been at the centre of big moments in the last decade, but I am really excited about playing alongside some of the young guys coming through and being part of that plan to bring them along.

“I am going out knowing that I can contribute to the team. It would have been disappointing being selected knowing that I was past it and only being selected on my reputation. I would like to finish my representative career knowing I can make a difference.”