Origin gives Minichiello new energy - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Origin gives Minichiello new energy

David Beniuk 30/06/2011 06:52:04 PM Comments (0)

A rank outsider to play State of Origin football again when the series began, Anthony Minichiello suddenly has reason to believe Wednesday's decider might not be his last for NSW.

Minichiello embodies the new Queensland-inspired philosophy in the Blues' set-up - stick by your proven Origin performers.

The 31-year-old made himself almost impossible to drop with a typically solid performance after his shock call-up for Origin II.

Josh Dugan's ongoing injury problems have prevented a selection headache for coach Ricky Stuart, who put his faith in his old Sydney Roosters' comrade.

Minichiello says he has agreed to play on with the Roosters for 2012 and won't concede Wednesday's Origin III at Suncorp Stadium will be his swansong, despite some reports linking him to rugby union in Europe.

Maroons' stars like Darren Lockyer and Petero Civoniceva have already proven age is no barrier.

"Who knows?" Minichiello said on Thursday. "We'll see what happens but all my focus is on this one and trying to win this game.

"Experience is always a good thing in teams. I think you want to have a good balance of youth and experience.

"Trying to get that balance right is tough sometimes but the balance we've got here in these three games has been outstanding."

Minichiello said his return to Origin for the first time since 2007 has reinvigorated his football after a horrendous series of injury setbacks.

"I feel great," he said.

"At the start of the year, I always thought they would go with youth with a couple of good fullbacks running around in Haynesy (Jarryd Hayne) and Josh Dugan.

"I always thought in the back of my mind I'm ready if I could get another shot there again and I finally got it and I grabbed it with both hands, through injury.

"It's just a great feeling to be a part of.

"My fiancee never watched a live game of Origin before with myself playing."

Minichiello will play his 11th game for the Blues in the series decider on Wednesday night.

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