Michael Vella

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Michael Vella
Michael Vella (23 April 2005).jpg
Vella in 2005
Personal information
Born (1978-02-19) 19 February 1978 (age 39)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Playing information
Height 191 cm (6 ft 3 in)
Weight 106 kg (16 st 10 lb) [1]
Position Front Row
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1998–06 Parramatta Eels 159 13 0 0 52
2007–11 Hull Kingston Rovers 121 14 0 0 56
Total 280 27 0 0 108
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1999–02 New South Wales 10 0 0 0 0
1999–01 Australia 11 0 0 0 0

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.[2]

In 2005, the rugby league world was shocked to learn Vella was fighting thyroid cancer[3] 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.

Since his retirement, Vella has returned to Australia where he has owned a fitness business,[4] worked in a variety of roles for the NRL, and is currently brand ambassador for the Parramatta Eels[5]