Veteran Rooster and former Australian fullback Anthony Minichiello insists he is content to bide his time on the wing following Todd Carney’s sensational debut for the Tri-Colours last Sunday.<br><br>Minichiello played just eight games last season after breaking his ankle in Round 2 – the latest in a debilitating list of injuries that has seen him miss a whopping 65 games for the Roosters over the past four years.<br><br>He was expected to fight it out with Sam Perrett for the no.1 jersey in 2010 before new coach Brian Smith shocked everyone by announcing that former Canberra halfback Carney would be trialed at the back.<br><br>But Minichiello told NRL.com that he was happy to play second fiddle as his long-awaited comeback gradually gains momentum.<br><br>“It’s not too bad [playing on the wing] to get back into the swing of thing,” he said. “I haven’t played consecutive games in a while, so it definitely helps out. <br><br>“It’s good to know that I was able to play most of the game at wing on the weekend and then switched to fullback in the last 10 or 15 minutes. <br><br>“With the players we’ve got in our team, it doesn’t really matter what number you’ve got on your back. This year our main thing is trying to get everyone contributing to the win. If at the end of the day we’re able to do that, then everyone is happy.”<br><br>Minichiello admitted he was surprised when Smith first broached the idea of playing Carney at fullback this season but said there were no hard feelings – despite his record of 18 Tests and nine games for NSW.<br><br>“We spoke about it earlier in the pre-season, that he wanted to give Todd a go there,” he said.<br><br>“There were a lot of chats over the pre-season about it, but to be honest I’ve been out for a while and it doesn’t matter where I play. <br><br>“It’s just good to be out on the field.”<br><br>That Minichiello is even playing rugby league again comes as a huge relief.<br><br>Widely recognised as the best fullback in the game back in 2005 – the last time he played a full season – the 29-year-old has since been racked by injury, including a chronic back problem that limited him to just games between 2006 and 2008.<br><br>He had previously been renowned as the NRL’s very own man of steel – his 96 games for the Roosters, City Origin, NSW and Australia between 2002-04 more than any other player in the Telstra Premiership.<br><br>But having enjoyed an injury-free run through the pre-season, Minichiello said he was looking forward to again becoming a key figure within a resurgent Roosters outfit.<br><br>“I’m feeling great actually,” he said. “I played all through the trials and last weekend’s game so I’m feeling ready good. <br><br>“It’s been a frustrating few years but I’m back on the field now and hopefully as more weeks go by, the better I get.<br><br>“I’m ready for a full year.”<br><br>Minichiello said he hadn’t given up on a return to representative rugby league but was primarily focused on his performances for the Roosters.<br><br>“I certainly love the Blues and representative football but I’m only concentrating on playing good football at the moment,” he said.
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