Still a place for Mini at the Roosters

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    New South Wales Anthony Minichiello (centre) celebrates after scoring a try against Queensland during game 2 of the State of Origin Rugby League series in Sydney, Wednesday, June 15, 2011. Queensland lead the series with a win in game 1. (AAP Image/Dean Lewins)

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    Move over Anthony Minichiello. There is a new sheriff in town. After signing a deal that will see him at the club until at least 2016, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck is the next star fullback in the National Rugby League.

    Time, the grim reaper of professional sport, is creeping up on Minichiello.

    New Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson’s first big decision is to give the legendary fullback the old tap on the shoulder.

    But if any man in the NRL can embrace a switch to the wing for the betterment of the team, it is Minichiello.

    After an impressive 2012 season, Tuivasa-Sheck was named in the Toyota Cup Team of the Year and was awarded the Arthur Beetson NYC Player of the Year Medal by the Roosters.

    The Roosters struggled throughout last season and desperately need a new start.

    With the acquisitions of Sonny Bill Williams and James Maloney and a long list of boom rookies, its time for an overhaul at Bondi.

    Tuivasa-Sheck can lead the Roosters into a new era.

    “I’m really enjoying being a part of the Roosters. The club has treated me so well ever since I got here. I’m learning so much and I wanted to stay a Rooster and build a career here,” Tuivasa-Sheck said after signing on earlier in the month.

    “I still have lots of room to improve and I just want to continue to learn in the coming years, keep getting better and hopefully secure my opportunity to play some good football for the club.”

    Whether it comes sooner or later is rather elementary. Minichiello’s time in the number one jersey is coming to an abrupt end. The Junior Kiwi has all the capabilities to be the next Ben Barba.

    But it isn’t all doom and gloom for Minichiello. The veteran can take heart from of all things, a basketball side from New Zealand.

    The New Zealand Breakers have won the passed two National Basketball League championships on the back of a blend of talented youngsters and a group of veterans willing to play for the good of the team.

    Guys like former Sydney Kings guard CJ Bruton has bought into the culture in Auckland and has the chance to win more titles on the back of these younger men.

    Minichiello still has a part to play at the Roosters, but it’s not at fullback.