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Billy Slater's tribute to wife after tricky call on Queensland State of Origin future

The Melbourne Storm legend has given a rare insight into his family life at home.

Billy Slater, pictured here with his wife Nicole.
Billy Slater and wife Nicole. Image: Getty/AAP

Billy Slater has paid a sweet tribute to wife Nicole amid a rare insight to his life at home. In an interview with News Corp recently, Billy and Nicole showed off their house and farm - located 40km southeast of Melbourne - after trading inner city life for greener pastures.

The Slaters moved to the farm in 2018 with their two children - daughter Tyla and son Jake - and now breed thoroughbred horses. Nicole is also a successful artist and they recently built a gallery where she and Billy can work.

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The new building has a soundproof office where Slater can do his media interviews and podcasts, and also provides a space for Nicole to show off her art. "It is like the doghouse, but a nice one," Nicole said. "We both work from home so it is important that we keep the separation, then when we are at home, we can be at home."

Slater paid tribute to his wife on social media as he published some photos of the new gallery. "I am inspired every day," he wrote. "My coach once said, 'hard work will beat talent when talent doesn't want to work hard'.

"But when you mix an incredible talent, with someone who has commitment, dedication, and self resilience, the accomplishments are endless. You deserve everything you get Nicole. Including me. I'm so proud of you."

Slater said about the farm: "When we bought these 20 acres there was nothing here. No services just rolling hills. It was a blank canvas. We would come out here and sit on the roof of the car and picture the view from the living room."

Billy Slater torn between family life and work

The rare insight into Slater's personal life comes after he flagged his desire to spend more time with family amid a tricky decision whether to remain Queensland State of Origin coach or not. In September, the Melbourne Storm legend re-signed as Maroons coach for three more years, but not before revealing how torn he was about the call.

"I don’t think I’ve ever said that I wouldn’t like to help the Queensland rugby league team. I’ve just got to make sure that it works," he said in August. "Selfishly, I’d love to coach on, that’s the easy answer, but I’m a husband, I’m a father, I run a small stud farm, we do that ourselves as a family.

“I’ve got to make sure that everything works and I can commit that time to the Queensland rugby league team. My management has started discussions with the QRL and hopefully they progress further and then I’ll sit down with my family and work out how it all works. There’s a lot more to it than me selfishly wanting to be coach of the Queensland rugby league team.”

Billy Slater with family.
Billy Slater with his family after Queensland's State of Origin triumph in 2022. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

Late last year it came to light that Billy and Nicole had taken Ryan Papenhuyzen under their wing amid the Storm fullback's lengthy injury layoff. Papenhuyzen revealed how the kind gesture from Slater and his wife had helped him immensely.

"Billy has been awesome. I am where I am now because of him," Papenhuyzen told AAP in September.

"He went through such a long-term injury himself and understands how tough it is, but him and Nicole would invite me over to their place and we would just have a day out where we would not talk about footy. He understood the mental side of rehab and how you need to switch off sometimes and enjoy the company of others. I am just really grateful to them.

"They would invite me out to their farm. We'd go out and have dinner. (Slater's children) Tyla and Jake would chill out and we'd go play some tennis.

"I am forever in debt to him. He has helped me through the whole ordeal. He reached out about how important it is to have someone else (helping) while you are not playing, to keep your mind simulated. It is just special to have someone like him at the club who wants to give back so much."

with AAP

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