||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (May 2010)|
|Winterstein playing for Brisbane in 2009|
30 May 1988 |
Auckland, New Zealand
|Height||188 cm (6 ft 2 in)|
|Weight||95 kilograms (14 st 13 lb)|
|Position||Centre, Wing, Fullback|
Antonio Winterstein (born 30 May 1988 in Auckland, New Zealand) is a professional rugby league footballer for the North Queensland Cowboys of the NRL. A Samoan international representative winger, he previously played for the Brisbane Broncos.
Wintersetin comes from a very large Rugby League family. His uncles are Tony and Paddy Tuimavave and he is cousin to Carlos (Warriors) and Evarn Tuimavave. After moving to Brisbane Winterstein attended Marsden State High School, where his classmates included future NRL stars Israel Folau and Chris Sandow.
Following the 2008 Toyota Cup season, Winterstein moved to Brisbane to be closer to family and was invited to train with the Broncos during the off-season. He was selected to play in round 1 of the 2009 NRL season against the North Queensland Cowboys and scored a try on début. He scored 16 tries and played almost every game of his first NRL season.
Winterstein's streak of 31 consecutive first grade games since his debut was cut in early April 2010 when coach Ivan Henjak dropped him and Ben Te'o for turning up to training late in the lead up to the match against the Dragons, which the Broncos lost. As punishment, Winterstein was relegated to second division for a week, and returned the following week against Cronulla.
Wintersteined moved to the North Queensland Cowboys on a 3-year deal with starting from the 2011 NRL season. Winterstein broke his jaw in the Cowboys first trial of the year in February against his former club Brisbane, which resulted in him missing the first month of the NRL. Winterstein returned for the Cowboys in Round 5 against the Gold Coast Titans, playing Centre and starring in the win. After Nine NRL gaes in 2011, Winterstein tore his pectoral muscle and damaged his shoulder badly in the Round 14 clash against the eventual Premiers Manly, Winterstein was later ruled out for the season, having played Nine games and scoring Four tries.
In 2012 Winterstein edged out fellow Kiwi international Kalifa FaifaiLoa for the Cowboys final wing spot, as the club signed talented Grand Final Centre Kane Linnett from the Roosters, Winterstein stayed injury-free in season 2012 and played in all 26 games for the Cowboys; scoring 8 tries. While Wintersteins preferred position is right centre, he was forced to play the majority of the season on the left wing.
Winterstein was awarded for his second season with the Cowboys club with a spot in New Zealand's one off test squad to play against Australia on 13 October 2012. Winterstein made the New Zealand Four Nations squad in 2010 but missed out on selection in 2011 due to injury.
On 7 December 2012 it was announced that Winterstein had re-signed with the Cowboys on an three-year-deal, which will keep the Samoan international at the Townsville based club until at least the 2016 NRL season.
Antonio made his debut for Samoa in the Pacific Rugby League International against Tonga on the 20th of April 2013. He was selected for Samoa again later in the year to feature in Samoa's 2013 Rugby League World Cup campaign. Winterstein inspired Samoa to the World Cup quarter-finals scoring 5 tries in 4 world cup games. 3 of those tries came against 'The Kumuls' in the group stage.
- School days to class acts By Matt Marshall (The Daily Telegraph 23 April 2009)
- Brisbane Broncos rookie Antonio Winterstein upsets Sydney Roosters By Brent Read (The Australian 11 April 2009)
- AP (5 October 2010). "New faces join Kiwis Four Nations squad". Wide World of Sports. Retrieved 10 June 2012.