Minichiello's guidance boosting Roosters
The Sydney Roosters continue to tick boxes in terms of their lifestyle choices despite suffering their second loss of the season to the previously winless Sharks on Easter Sunday and it's all thanks to their former captain Anthony Minichiello.
Since retiring at the end of last season, Minichiello has stayed on at the Roosters in head coach Trent Robinson's staff as the club's lifestyle coach, while also working with the club's commercial team part-time.
Described as a holistic role in terms of the Roosters players everyday choices, Minichiello believes the realms of professionalism in rugby league now requires more than just performing on the field – whether that be players eating, sleeping or utilising their time away from training and playing well.
"The game is so professional now that you just can't expect to do your training at the Roosters precinct and go home and not look after yourself while being a full time professional," Minichiello told NRL.com.
"The lifestyle coach role that I look after ticks a lot of areas – nutrition, sleep, stretching and hydration – and it is something that I'm really passionate about. As my career was winding down I really started getting into that side of things and it allowed me to become a more professional person and player.
"Simply put, the game is becoming more and more professional and if you can look after yourself away from the game and prepare in the right way then you are giving yourself every chance to be the best player you can be."
Prop Sam Moa is one such player who has noticed the benefits of Minichiello's coaching – especially for the younger players at the club.
Moa said the players regularly meet with Minichiello and believes having him still around influencing the culture of the club is critical for the Tricolours' success.
"He's a part of the furniture here and his first hand experience and how he conducts himself in terms of his training, diet and his approach to the game in general is beneficial," Moa told NRL.com.
"It's good coming from a person who you respect and who you have witnessed practice what he preaches, and who has that experience and knowledge within your club.
"We're really seeing the benefits it has had within the young guys who haven't been around this professional approach inside and outside of football."
Away from the lifestyle niche of the Roosters coaching staff, Minichiello is still helping out where he can.
Take Roger Tuivasa-Sheck for example, the 21-year-old who has replaced the 300-game veteran at fullback in 2015.
Tuivasa-Sheck, who has played a mere eight games in the number one jumper, said having Minichiello around will only maximise his potential – which was evident once again on Easter Sunday after running for 339 metres in their eight-point loss.
"Every time after games I go up to him and rack his brain: 'Did I do this right?', 'Did I do that right?' or 'Can you check this?' He's always happy to check stuff out for me and see how I'm going and where I can improve," Tuivasa-Sheck told NRL.com.
"He was the best defensive fullback in the game when he played and now to be able to continue learning off him in terms of our defensive system is very special.
"Mini was the man at that and it's really good to have him still here to fall back on."