Mun­ster tips hat to Slater

Sunday Herald Sun - - News - PAUL CRAW­LEY

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.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.