A long, lengthy and spirited NRL career has come to an end for Mark Minichiello, with the Gold Coast Titans veteran to sign with English Super League side Hull FC for the next two years.
Minichiello, who has a wealth of experience having played in 250+ games over 13 years for the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the Titans, felt it was time for a new challenge.
The veteran is the third player to join Hull FC in the off-season and Minichiello looks forward to the prospect of England and Hull that await him.
â€œIt is going to be a new challenge for me and I am really looking forward to it I canâ€™t wait to get over there and experience a different league,” said Minichiello.
â€œIt was a big decision, I have been in the NRL for thirteen seasons now and have played over 250 games here but I think it was maybe just the right time for me to make the change and I guess accept a new challenge.
â€œI have always had dreams of playing in the Super League, and when this deal and opportunity came about, I just thought it was the right time to jump in and experience something new.”
Knowing that the club has a long history in rugby league, playing in the Super League has always been an ambition for the veteran.
â€œHull is a club with a long history, is one of the bigger clubs over there and from what I hear the fans are very passionate about rugby league, they have a good culture for rugby,” said Minichiello.
â€œSo when offered the chance to come over and play that was really the only offer I needed to make my decision.”
The club are also pleased to have him on board for not only his experience, but the value he brings both on and off the field as a player and person.
“Mark brings vast experience to the club, not just in terms of his ability and game sense on the field, but a wealth of knowledge and the right way to conduct yourself off it,” said Hull FC head coach, Lee Radford.
“It’s been a long time coming, we’ve been talking to Mark and his management about coming to Hull for some time and it is difficult at the moment to bring in players of his calibre from the NRL, you only have to look at who we were in competition with to see why.
With the new challenge ahead of him, the club are confident he will be a big hit on the field and with the fans.
“But he has made all the right noises about the club, the opportunity to play Super League and seems extremely committed to making the move which has been pleasing,” said Radford.
“It’s a new chapter for him and I know he is full of enthusiasm and can’t wait to get started. He will be a big influence on some of our younger blokes and a real hit with the fans, I’m sure.”