Mick Vella to retire from professional rugby league

Mick Vella has confirmed that he will be ending his playing career at the end of the current season.

Kevin Grech
1 September 2011, 12:00am
Vella who is of Maltese descent brings to an end an illustrious 13-year career in rugby league.

In his 13-year career, Vella has had 159 appearances for Parramatta and 113 for current club Hull Kingston Rovers.

In addition to a long club career, Vella also represented Australia 8 times at international level and was part of the World Cup winning squad in 2000.

Speaking about the annoucement Vella stated "It was a tough decision for me to make. The decision was made for me because I've not been offered a new contract, even though I had planned to play another year.

In addition to representing Australia internationally, he has played for the Malta Knights as he is of Maltese descent.

"I felt my body was good enough to play another year but I'm not 25 anymore and teams aren't willing to take a gamble on me."

Rovers Chairman Neil Hudgell paid tribute to the departing Vella.

"Mick will retire as a modern day legend of the club. He was one of the very first big names to join us in Super League from overseas and in his five years with the club he has been a fantastic leader on the pitch, and a tremendous ambassador for the club off it.

"He can look back on his career with immense pride and I'm certain every single Hull KR fan will acknowledge the massive contribution he has made during his time at Craven Park.

"Everyone at the club wishes him well for his future after rugby, and I'm sure he will get a rousing send off in the final home game of the season against Castleford."

Kevin Grech is MaltaToday's sports editor. He has been the designer of MaltaToday's print ...