Munster handed Slater backing

06 February 2018 04:04:40 EST

Full-back Billy Slater is sure team-mate Cameron Munster has the temperament to become a leader at reigning premiers Melbourne Storm.

The talented five-eighth made his representative debut last year for both Queensland and Australia, as well as helping his club win the Grand Final.

He'll need to step up in what is his fifth year of NRL now that Cooper Cronk has departed, but Slater has no doubts he has the right qualities to go on and join the club's leadership group.

"He's in our emerging leaders," said he custodian ahead of Wednesday's behind-closed-doors trial against Newcastle. "I think it (leadership) will naturally happen for him.

"He'll evolve into becoming a leader at this club. With Cooper leaving he'll take that on board and move into that role."

The Storm are taking on the Knights to help them gear up for their World Club Challenge against Leeds Rhinos on 16th February, but Slater and Cameron Smith won't be involved as they only returned from their post-World Cup rest two weeks ago.

But Slater, who enters his 16th season of NRL this year, will be back for the World Club Challenge.

It will be his fourth time in the fixture, but the first time at home.

"The title of world champions in club land is up for grabs and we take that as pretty important to us," said Slater. "You've got to win the competition to be able to play it, so it's a privilege to be able to play in a game like this."

Melbourne are 13/4 to win the NRL Grand Final, while the Storm are 1/20 to finish in the top four.

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