Billy Slater's wife in emotional tribute as kids handed special role for State of Origin 2

Nicole Slater made the touching tribute for her husband and NRL legend ahead of a historical night.

Nicole Slater has paid tribute to her husband Billy Slater ahead of State of Origin Game 2 having announced their children will play a special role at the MCG during the big clash. The Maroons, under coach Slater, are aiming to win their third straight State of Origin series on Wednesday, which would place the NRL legend alongside an elite group of coaches to have achieved the rare feat.

And during the big clash in front of an estimated 90,000 fans, Nicole and Billy's children - Jake and Tyla - will have the best seat in the house as they help out as ball kids. Nicole was thankful for the family's privilege over the years having all taken such an important role in the Origin arena.

Billy Slater during a press conference and Nicole, Billy Slater and their children.
Nicole Slater has praised her husband Billy Slater ahead of their children participating as ball kids for State of Origin Game 2. (Getty Images)

She paid tribute to her husband for how seamlessly he has transitioned from one of the game's greatest ever fullbacks to an Origin coach. And Nicole also pointed out the countless hours Slater puts in behind the scenes for his role as the leader of the Maroons.

“We’ve been so fortunate as a family to pull on our Maroon jerseys each year,’’ Slater told The Herald Sun. ahead of the game. “Kids have once again got the best seat in the house as they are the ball kids again this year. Billy’s transition from a player to a coach has been honourable to watch closely, as I know the long days and nights he puts into perfecting his craft to allow the players to see themselves as Billy sees them.”

While Nicole has praised Billy for his dedication and time he puts into the Maroons role, Slater recently admitted he had no desire to become a full-time NRL coach due to his wish to spend more time with his family. Regardless, Slater could be set to write another stunning chapter in Origin, but this time as a coach.

Slater and his children could be set for a show in front of a State of Origin record crowd with the MCG set to push past 90,000 on the night. The previous record for an Origin game stands at 91,513 at the MCG back in 2015.

Early predictions suggest Game 2 could get close to the 91,000 mark with the Blues needing a win to keep the series alive. Ahead of the highly-anticipated clash, Slater has been praising the man that has followed in his footsteps to wear the Maroons No.1 jersey.

Billy Slater with his wife Nicole Slater.
Nicole Slater (pictured left) has paid a special tribute to her husband Billy Slater (pictured) ahead of Origin Game 2.

After shutting down speculation their was animosity between Blues coach Michael Maguire and himself leading into Game 2, Slater has used the opportunity to talk up Maroons superstar Walsh. The 21-year-old fullback left Game 1 in the seventh minute after he was concussed due to a Jospeh Suaalii high-shot.

Slater, a fullback during his illustrious career, is well aware of the setbacks a young player can face when returning from a sickening collision. The Blues have not backed down after the ugly incident and claimed they will still target the youngster in just his third start at fullback for the Maroons. But Slater was full of praise for Walsh and claimed the Maroons No.1 is showing a clam head at such a young age.


"That's the first time I have thought about demons and Reece Walsh. He has been incredible all week, he was incredible in his preparation for Game 1 and he started well in Game 1 and I expect no different," Slater said at the pre-game press conference on Tuesday.

"I love the way that he plays, I love the attributes he has in his game and I love the way he works hard to go after it. It's been a pleasure to help him do that this week and get his game on."

Billy Slater and Nicole Slater.
Nicole Slater (pictured right) has paid tribute to her husband Billy Slater ahead of Game 2 of State of Origin.