Karmichael Hunt could be a “smoky” to make a Broncos comeback and help with the team’s inexperience problem.
Former Brisbane premiership star Karmichael Hunt could be a “smoky” to make a Broncos comeback and help with the team’s glaring inexperience problem.
So says 2006 grand final teammate Sam Thaiday, after Hunt made a return for Souths Logan in the Broncos’ feeder system on the weekend.
Hunt, a dual international in the rugby codes who also dabbled in AFL, featured in the centres as the Magpies beat the Burleigh Bears 36-20 on the weekend. He clearly enjoyed the hitout, having last played rugby league in 2009.
While there are no expectations around Hunt’s return, given that he’s 34 and so long out of the 13-man code, Thaiday said that the door was slightly ajar if the Broncos continued to suffer from a lack of old heads.
“You talk about senior players and wanting to get senior players around some of these younger guys, I think he may be even a smoky this year,” Thaiday said on Wide World of Sports’ QLDER.
“You never know. It might be a chance or opportunity to bring some senior players back, guys that have been there in the past when we’ve had success, as well.
“He was there for the 2006 grand final, played amongst some of those really, really great older players that were at our club. Even if you just had him around the traps , maybe extend a little train-and-trial for him. Who knows, we’ll see what happens.”
Hunt was a brilliant, fearless fullback in rugby league, who also played on the wing and at five-eighth during his time for the Broncos, Queensland and Australia. He played 125 games and scored 53 tries for Brisbane during 2004-09, having debuted in the NRL at a club record 17-years-old.
He had a mixed time in rugby union, playing for the Wallabies and reaching a Heineken Cup final with Biarritz; yet also going through police charges for alleged cocaine possession, which were eventually withdrawn in 2018. Hunt instead pleaded guilty to possessing alprazolam; a Xanax tablet. He was not offered a new contract by the NSW Waratahs at the end of last season and said that his career was in “limbo”.
The Broncos are currently playing youngsters Tesi Niu and Herbie Farnworth in the centres, with fringe NSW Origin star Kotoni Staggs to return from injury next month.
The Broncos brought back former Queensland Origin player and ex-England rugby international Ben Te’o for added experience last season. The 34-year-old was retained for this year among an ultra-talented but raw Brisbane forward pack.
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