Munster tips hat to Slater
CAMERON Munster has made the stunning claim Billy Slater could emerge as an “even better coach” when the champion fullback finally hangs up his boots.
Celebrating his own arrival in the Kangaroos World Cup squad, Munster praised his Melbourne mentor and declared he “could see him as a coach one day”.
“He is always thorough in his work and always wants perfection and always wants to be competitive,” Munster said.
“I reckon it will be hard for him to leave the game he loves and I feel like he could be a coach in the next couple of years.”
The 34-year-old Slater this week announced that he will be playing on for at least another year following his remarkable comeback that culminated in winning the Clive Churchill Medal for his grand final performance.
But it was during almost two years of personal torment as he recovered from back-to-back shoulder operations that Munster learned first-hand what Slater would offer as a coach.
“He went through a lot of adversity in those two years,” Munster said. “Every day, I saw him down in the physio room doing the icing of the shoulder and just trying to strengthen it up. Just the way he went about it off-field was outstanding.
“He could have kicked stones. But instead he decided to help me out. He is going to be probably an even better coach when he decides to give it away.”
Asked what Slater had done personally to assist Munster’s career, the 23year-old said: “It is hard to explain. It was just the way he goes about his defence, always watching video and I guess just watching other people’s weaknesses and strengths … just trying to find kinks in other team’s systems and the way they defend.
“He has really changed the game as a fullback. I wouldn’t have learned as much as what I did in the last three or four years if it wasn’t for him and Cooper Cronk.”