Minichiello 'feels great' for Roosters - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Minichiello 'feels great' for Roosters

By Ian McCullough 09/02/2010 04:56:53 PM Comments (0)

Forgotten superstar Anthony Minichiello says his injury woes are firmly behind him and is ready to show the NRL he is still the best fullback in the game.

The 29-year-old Sydney Roosters veteran has played just 33 games in the last four seasons largely due a long-term back problem that threatened to end his career.

And after making it onto the field for the start of last season, Minichiello sustained a badly broken ankle against Canberra in round two, an injury that sidelined him for most of the 2009 campaign.

But after undergoing a punishing pre-season program under new Roosters coach Brian Smith, the former NSW fullback is confident he can reproduce the form that won him the 2005 Golden Boot Award for the world's best player.

In Minichiello's absence, Jarryd Hayne, Billy Slater and Kurt Gidley have seen their stocks rise as the top No.1s in the game, but the former Test star believes he will match it with the best in 2010.

"I got injured at the top of my game and that is why I feel if I can stay injury-free I can mix it with those blokes," Minichiello said.

"I feel great, I had a good pre-season ... my back has felt really good and given me no problems.

"I have done everything that all the other players have done in pre-season and I am feeling more confident with it by the day."

Minichiello, who will captain a Roosters side against the Warriors in a trial game in Rotorua, New Zealand, on Saturday, is also expecting to spend time on the wing this season with Smith pondering the idea of playing Todd Carney as fullback.

And although he admitted playing in the No.1 shirt is his preference, Minichiello is happy to play wherever Smith wants him to.

"He (Smith) has been great, it is just a fresh start for all of us," he said.

"I have been at the club a while and it is the first time they have changed every person in the coaching staff so we are looking a fresh faces and there has been a new feel around the club from day one."

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