Vella in 2005
19 February 1978 |
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
|Height||191 cm (6 ft 3 in)|
|Weight||106 kg (16 st 10 lb) |
Michael Vella is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer of the 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s. A New South Wales State of Origin and Australian international representative forward, he played his club football in the NRL for the Parramatta Eels, and in Super League for Hull Kingston Rovers, who he also captained. In addition to representing Australia internationally, he has played for the Malta Knights as he is of Maltese descent.
Vella was selected to play from the interchange bench for New South Wales in Game II of the 1999 State of Origin series. At the end of the season he helped the Australian national team to victory in the final of the 1999 Tri-nations tournament.
Vella played for the Parramatta Eels at prop forward in their 2001 NRL grand final loss to the Newcastle Knights. After that he represented Australia during their successful 2000 World Cup campaign and the following year went on the 2001 Kangaroo Tour.
In 2005, the rugby league world was shocked to learn Vella was fighting thyroid cancer After time out of the game, he returned to the field for the Eels in 2006 before heading to play in Europe's Super League for English club Hull Kingston Rovers where he was voted Players' Player of the Year in 2007. He also captained the club in his final year, 2011.
- "Hull KR The Official Site of the Robins". web page. Hull Kingston Rovers RLFC. Retrieved 13 August 2011.
- 2001 Ashes profile at news.bbc.co.uk