Hull FC’s Minichiello fears burn-out over Australia trip

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

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.

PHE­NOM­E­NAL

“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.

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