'Mini' makes UK Dream Team

Aquis Gold Coast Titans appearance record holder Mark Minichiello has capped an outstanding second season in the English Super League by being named in the competition’s Dream Team.

Minichiello, 34, virtually took the second row spot in the Super League Dream Team that was won by Zeb Taia in 2015 when he was playing for Catalans Dragons.

‘Mini’s Hull FC team play Wigan (which features Titans 2017 signing Dan Sarginson) on Friday night to determine if they go through to the grand final the following weekend against the winner of the Warrington-St Helens preliminary final (early Friday morning in Australia).

Minichiello was one of only two Australians in the Dream Team, along with former NSW State of Origin skipper and Newcastle Knights legend Kurt Gidley who is in his first season with Warrington. Other former NRL players are Mini’s Hull teammates Mahe Fonua, the former Melbourne Storm winger and Tongan international, and Gareth Ellis, the Englishman who had three successful seasons with Wests Tigers.

Being named in the team is equivalent to winning a Dally M positional award in the NRL.

Hull had six players in the Dream Team, which shows their dominance in 2016. They beat Warrington in the Challenge Cup final at Wembley, finished top of the ladder and now are two victories away from a Triple Crown. Former Titans winger-centre Steve Michaels played on the wing in the Challenge Cup victory.

Minichiello, who holds the Titans appearance record with 173 from 2007-14, has signed for next season with Hull and his form has been tremendous in his two seasons in England.

Last year he won Hull’s player of the year award (with Liam Watts), the supporters’ player of the year and players’ player award and will be in the running for more silverware when this season’s gongs are awarded later this month.

The 2016 Super League Dream Team is:

1.  Jamie Shaul (Hull FC).  Dream Team appearances: 1 (2016)

2.  Denny Solomona (Castleford Tigers).  Dream Team appearances: 1 (2016)

3.  Ryan Atkins (Warrington Wolves).  Dream Team appearances: 2 (2012)

4.  Mahe Fonua (Hull FC).  Dream Team appearances: 1 (2016)

5.  Dom Manfredi (Wigan Warriors). Dream Team appearances: 1 (2016)

6.  Kurt Gidley (Warrington Wolves). Dream Team appearances: 1 (2016)

7.  Luke Gale (Castleford Tigers). Dream Team appearances: 2 (2015, 2016 )

8.  Chris Hill (Warrington Wolves). Dream Team appearances: 3 (2012, 2014, 2016)

9.  Danny Houghton (Hull FC). Dream Team appearances: 1 (2016)

10.  Scott Taylor (Hull FC). Dream Team appearances: 1 (2016)

11.  Ben Currie (Warrington Wolves). Dream Team appearances: 1 (2016)

12.  Mark Minichiello (Hull FC). Dream Team appearances: 1 (2016)

13.  Gareth Ellis (Hull FC). Dream Team appearances: 5 (2003, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2016)