World Cup final 'my last in the green and gold jersey' - Billy Slater ready to call time on international career

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Two thirds of the Big Three may not be sighted for Australia again after Billy Slater gave his strongest hint yet that he has played his final game for the Kangaroos.

Billy Slater.
RLWC 2017. Australia Kangaroos v England. Rugby League World Cup. Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, Melbourne Australia. Friday 27 October 2017. © www.photosport.nz

Kangaroos fullback Billy Slater.

Source: Photosport

Halfback Cooper Cronk dropped the bombshell that he would walk away from rep footy after Australia's 6-0 Rugby League World Cup final win over England in Brisbane.

And 34-year-old fullback Slater looks set to follow after sounding like a retired rep player in the wake of the grinding win at Suncorp Stadium.

"I think this will probably be my last green and gold jersey," Slater said as he left the field.

"I don't know what I'm doing at the end of next year.

"I'll more than likely retire and that will probably mean finish up at the end of the season and let someone else take over at the last Test match next year.

"I don't know 100 per cent just yet but I'll soak in this moment as though it is my last."

Slater will play what is expected to be his final NRL season with Melbourne in 2018, however, he confirmed he would make himself available for one final State of Origin campaign.

While Queensland will be without long-time halves pairing Johnathan Thurston and Cooper Cronk against NSW, Slater and Cameron Smith remain on board.

"I'll be playing Origin next year as long as I get picked," Slater said.

"I'll be available to play Origin next year. And like I said, more than likely I'll be retiring at the end of next year.

"Whether that includes the one-off Test or not, look I'm pretty content with what I've achieved in the green and gold and I'm happy to pass it on.

"But like I said I haven't 100 per cent made a decision just yet."

Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga said before the final that he would be disappointed if Slater had decided to retire from rep footy and had not told the team, denying the veteran flyer a fitting farewell.

Either way the Cup final marked the end of an era for Australia's Big Three, completed by skipper Cameron Smith.

Cronk's retirement ended a remarkable run for the trio who had played 232 NRL games, 15 State of Origin matches for Queensland and 20 Tests together.

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