Queensland's Billy Slater during Game 2 of the State of Origin series between the NSW Blues and Queensland Maroons at the ANZ Stadium, Sydney. Picture. Phil Hillyard
Queensland's Billy Slater during Game 2 of the State of Origin series between the NSW Blues and Queensland Maroons at the ANZ Stadium, Sydney. Picture. Phil Hillyard

Slater to finish Origin career as captain

INNISFAIL's rugby league hero Billy Slater will finish his State of Origin career with "captain" beside his name.

Slater will become the Maroons' 14th captain in his 31st and final Origin match, replacing the injured Greg Inglis who skippered the side for the first two games.

Queensland coach Kevin Walters said he hoped Slater's elevation as captain would help the Maroons avoid suffering their first New South Wales whitewash since 2000 when they meet in Brisbane next Wednesday, July 11.

"Regardless of the result Billy is a winner. It's a really special moment for him captaining his state at Suncorp Stadium in his last game for Queensland," Walters said.

"The other 16 players owe Billy Slater a send off that is just right for him.

"I know you don't always get what you want but certainly we have plenty to play for."

Slater grew up in Innisfail and left town as scrawny youngster tossing up a career in rugby league and horse racing.

Today, the 35-year-old is considered a legend of the game, having notched up his 300th NRL match earlier this year.

He has also played 30 Tests for Australia.

Last month Slater announced he was retiring from representative football at the end of this year's State of Origin series.

 

Billy Slater returns to Innisfail to attend the Billy Slater League Tag Challenge for Primary schools. Billy sits with students from Good Counsel Primary Innisfail. Picture: Marc McCormack
Billy Slater returns to Innisfail to attend the Billy Slater League Tag Challenge for Primary schools. Billy sits with students from Good Counsel Primary Innisfail. Picture: Marc McCormack

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