Mark Minichello signs one-year Hull contract

Rugby League
Mark Minichello - signed new deal
Mark Minichello - signed new deal

Hull's Australian back-row forward Mark Minichiello will play on beyond his 37th birthday after signing a new contract for 2019.

Minichiello, younger brother of former Australia full-back Anthony Minichiello, has made more than 100 appearances for Hull since joining them from Gold Coast Titans at the start of the 2015 season and was in their back-to-back Challenge Cup winning teams of 2016 and 2017.

He is the eighth player to sign a contract extension with Hull, much to the delight of coach Lee Radford.

"Mini's quality was never in doubt when he joined the club," Radford said. "He's been huge on and off the field since 2015.

"Mark is the most professional player I have ever come across and right up there with the likes of Craig Fitzgibbon and Richard Swain.

"He does some outlandish things to get those one percents to give us an advantage, like sleep patterns for example, but it works for him so credit to him. He's 36 and in great condition so he's doing something right."

Minichiello, who was Hull's player of the year in his first season and was named in the Super League Dream Team two years ago, says he still feels in a strong physical condition thanks to his rigorous health regime he has undertaken throughout his career.

"Most players are retired at my age but personally, I'm still feeling really physically fit," he said.

"I've always strived to look after myself and luckily it seems to have worked and I've bought a few more years at the back end of my career.

"The coaching staff and the conditioners have played a role in my fitness too. They manage us really well individually and specific programmes for each players."

Having tasted success at Wembley, Minichiello, who captained Italy at last year's World Cup, has now set his sights on winning the Grand Final before he hangs up his boots.

"I've already created some great memories here but one of the key reasons I wanted to stay on was to try and help the side to a Grand Final appearance," he said.

"I want to make sure I have the chance to achieve that, it's something that I've never done in my career but I'm still keen to achieve.

"I believe the club are in a good position to do that, and if not this year, hopefully we can achieve it next season.

"We have the people here to be able to do and that's why I wanted to go around again in 2019."

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