Mark Minichiello announces retirement plans

James Gordon

Hull forward Mark Minichiello is to retire at the end of the season.

Minichiello, 37, made his 400th career appearance in June and won the Challenge Cup with the Airlie Birds in 2016 and 2017.

He said: “It was always going to be an extremely tough decision to make when you come towards the end of your career.

“I have enjoyed a fantastic 17-year playing career and my time here at Hull FC has been outstanding, so that made this decision so hard, but I guess that all good things have to come to an end at some stage.

“In future years, I want to be able to say that I finished my career at the right time.

“I still feel that I have a lot to offer to the team heading into the final few weeks of the season. And if I can come away with a Grand Final winners’ ring, then I will certainly be able to say that I retired at the right time.”

The Australian, who captained Italy at the 2017 World Cup, played for Sydney Roosters, South Sydney and Gold Coast in the NRL before moving to Super League in 2015.

Coach Lee Radford said: “Mini has been an outstanding servant to the club, a real top recruit.

“He has had a real influence on setting the culture at the club in recent years – the whole group will take away what he has brought long into their careers.

“He’s one of the greatest imports we’ve had during the Super League era. His level of consistency has been so high and still even at the age of 37, he’s showing so much energy and desire on the field.

“In time to come, he’ll be regarded as one of the great forwards to pull on a Black and White jersey.”