Hull FC’s Minichiello fears burn-out over Australia trip
Hull FC’s Mark Minichiello has voiced concerns over player welfare after his side were confirmed as one of the participations in the first Super League fixture to be held in Australia. Hull and Wigan will both head to Sydney in February 2018 to play their groundbreaking match followed a few days later by a double header at ANZ Stadium, with the Black and Whites taking on St George Illawarra and South Sydney facing Wigan.
That offers an unexpected chance for Minichiello to play in his homeland again, but he is concerned that the players will suffer as a result. “It is great to get to play against an NRL team in Australia one more time, I am looking forward to it and seeing how things have changed over there,” he said.
“Never say never, but I didn’t think I would be playing an NRL team in Australia again, so I am looking forward to going back there. “It’s good for the game, but it’s a little bit crazy to have an extra game on top of all the games we already play.
“I understand that it will push the game and expose it to new audiences, if you want to promote it in Australia this is a good way to do it. The players will be excited but it is a tough old season already.” Minichiello’s Hull side face Salford in their first game of the Super 8s this weekend, fresh from reaching the Challenge Cup final on Saturday. And they have also been boosted by the double signing of former Black and White Mickey Paea and Bureta Faraimo for next season.
“They’re two, quality additions to our squad for next season and beyond. Mickey is someone who knows the squad really well and Bureta will add a lot too,” head coach Lee Radford said. “We tried to sign Bureta on a few occasions in the past and we were in for him when we signed Mahe Fonua but he ended up going to Parramatta. I’m over the moon to have finally got him.
“His statistics, including his metres, are absolutely phenomenal and he’s the kind of outside back who gets sets going for you. “Mickey is very professional and he will provide a huge impact for us in the forwards. I was gutted to see him go when he left at the end of 2015 but it’s good to have him back at the club.”
The Super 8s begin on Thursday as leaders Castleford play host to in-form St Helens, with coach Daryl Powell admitting it will be a tough game to kick things off. “They have improved and there’s a lot more ball movement in them,” he said. “They are really challenging teams and they have a bit of form behind them so it will be a really tough one.
“We all know where we sit in the table, it’s about going on with our consistency and if we get that right then obviously we’ll get the prize that we want.” On Friday, Leeds, who lost to Hull on Saturday, will host Challenge Cup finalists Wigan, while Huddersfield play host to Wakefield.