400-game Minichiello desperate to reach first Grand Final

Hull back-rower Mark Minichiello will reach the milestone of 400 career games against Hull KR this evening but a Grand Final appearance still eludes him.

Minichiello, 37, has spent the last five seasons with Hull after playing more than 250 games in the NRL for Sydney Roosters, South Sydney Rabbitohs and Gold Coast Titans.

Although he has managed to win two Challenge Cup titles with the Airlie Birds, as well as representing Italy at two World Cups, the Australian has yet to mark his stellar career with a Grand Final appearance.

He said: “I’ve been playing since I was six years old and every year since. It’s a long time.

“Yes, 400 career games is a massive achievement, something I’m really proud of. It’s something that not many people get to do. I’ve been very blessed and I’m grateful for the long career that I’ve had.

“I haven’t played in a Grand Final, been striving for that for 18, 19 years now. Four hundred games on I would still love to do that and hopefully I get the opportunity to do that this year.”

Hull are one of only seven teams to have reached a Super League Grand Final, losing to St Helens in 2006.

They currently sit third in the table, four points clear of Catalans, and can move within two points of second placed Warrington with a derby victory at KCOM Craven Park.