Anthony Mullally explains how Terry O’Connor visit gave him the motivation to reach the top

James Messenger
Anthony Mullally

Carcassonne forward Anthony Mullally has revealed how taking more accountability for his own actions led to a successful, albeit decorated career, with a little help from former Super League winner Terry O’Connor.

Since rugby league’s Vegan Warrior began his professional career in the Championship with Widnes in 2009, he has gone on to represent numerous teams and ply his trade across three different continents. 

Now, the towering, long-haired forward is able to reflect on a change in lifestyle and mindset that currently sees him reside in the French Elite One Championship. 

“The turnaround in my form and career came when I started to take accountability for my own actions and not blaming anyone else,” he told the State of Mind Talks Podcast.

Mullally’s early years at the Vikings and then Huddersfield led to a move to a Leeds side coming off the back of an impressive treble in 2015. 

Anthony Mullally pictured playing for Leeds

However, he admits that his party-focused lifestyle in Yorkshire compromised his ability to put more focus on his actions on the pitch. 

It took a fight for Super League survival during his first season at Headingley for the front-rower to alter his priorities. Hard work in the build-up to the 2017 season followed and, as Mullally accepts, the season, and the Old Trafford success it brought, took care of itself. 

READ: Anthony Mullally: The thought of winning another Grand Final after 2017 was like Everest

The 29-year-old spent much of his career with Leeds, winning his only grand final with the club in 2017, but as shown during a tough season 12 months prior, it certainly didn’t come without its fair share of hardship. 

Still, Mullally recalls how a visit from former Super League winner Terry O’Connor during his younger years gave him the desire to reach the pinnacle of the sport.

“I always remember Terry O’Connor coming into my college when I was younger and he had his Super League ring on and he was tapping it at the table,” he added.

“[He wasn’t] showing off, but he just had it on him, and I remember looking at him and thinking, ‘that’s what I want’. For me, the ambition was progression.”

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