Billy Slater pulled off the take down.
Billy Slater pulled off the take down.

Slater scores early NRL win in Code War

Melbourne Storm legend Billy Slater has scored an early win for NRL in Code War week, executing a take down on AFL great Aaron Hamill during pre-season training with St Kilda.

During a wrestling session with St Kilda players, Hamill and Slater were filmed barking orders to young Saints players as they wrestled on the field.

Having announced that the losers of the wrestling duels would have to pay with a penalty of 60 push-ups, Hamill and Slater put their money were their mouths were by squaring off in a wrestling duel of their own.

Slater joined the Saints' leadership and development programs in a newly-created role in late 2018 after pulling the pin on his stellar 323-game NRL career last year.

He showed he has lost none of his natural competitiveness and physicality when he outmuscled Hamill and eventually dumped him on the turf with a driving tackle that saw Hamill hit the deck after losing his balance on one leg.

Slater's win had Saints players up and about, cheering their coaches on from metres away.

The Channel 9 commentator's win gives NRL early boasting rights ahead of Friday night's Code War showdown between AFL legend Barry Hall and Cronulla icon Paul Gallen.


Billy Slater’s still got it.
Billy Slater’s still got it.

Slater's successful code hop to the Saints has this year been replicated by the GWS Giants, who snapped up retiring Roosters legend Cooper Cronk to join their coaching staff in 2020.

Cronk has joined GWS as a leadership consultant after drawing the curtain on his 16-season NRL career that featured four titles - including the last three premierships - from a staggering nine grand finals.

The Giants reached out to Cronk as they looked to rebound from a stellar 2019 AFL season that ended with a devastating 89-point grand final loss to Richmond.

Cronk, 35, looks set to be kept busy in his retirement after already announcing he had signed on as a part-time specialist halves coach with his former NRL club Sydney Roosters.

Giants board member Jimmy Bartel last month confirmed their interest in luring the ex-Test and Queensland playmaker to their coaching staff for 2020 in the hope his professional approach would rub off on their players and club culture.

"It's his leadership, it's his experience, just everything he brings to the table. Of course we'd love to get him involved," Bartel told Macquarie Sports Radio in October.