NRL's Broncos admit Hunt is on for former Wallaby

·2 min read
Australia's Karmichael Hunt looks for a way past New Zealand's Frank Pritchard watched by Nigel Vagana during the opening match of the Tri Nations Rugby League tournament in Auckland

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Brisbane Broncos coach Kevin Walters said Karmichael Hunt could be playing for the struggling National Rugby League (NRL) team within a month once a deal is ironed out for the dual code international.

Twelve years after leaving the Broncos in 2009, former Wallabies centre Hunt is expected to return to Brisbane next week on a train-and-trial contract, having impressed for feeder club Souths Logan in the Queensland state league.

"We have made some enquiries on Karmichael," Walters told reporters after the Broncos' 20-12 loss to the Panthers late on Thursday.

"We are just waiting to get the green light, I guess.

"He is a former Bronco and a good experienced player.

"I think Round 10 he can come in.

"So we just want to get him in and have a look at him and get him around the group and see what he can offer and what he can bring."

Walters had ruled out drafting in the 34-year-old two weeks ago but said circumstances had changed. The Broncos have slumped to a 1-5 start and are 13th in the 16-team competition.

"Am I allowed to change my mind? The performance of the side (is what has changed).

"I feel Karmichael can add to this group with his presence so we will see what happens."

A return to the Broncos would add another chapter to Hunt's colourful sporting career.

An NRL championship winner with the Broncos in 2006, Hunt represented Australia 11 times in rugby league, played top flight Australian Rules football for four seasons on the Gold Coast and was capped six times for the Wallabies in 2017.

He returned to rugby league in Queensland this year after Super Rugby side New South Wales Waratahs declined to extend his contract after the 2020 season.

Nick Phipps said Hunt had been an immensely popular and influential figure from their time together at the Wallabies and Waratahs.

"(The) boys couldn't love him more," Phipps told Fox Sports.

"Shaped a lot of boys' careers over his few years. Super reliable, unbelievable player too."

Former Waratahs assistant Simon Cron said the Broncos would be getting a "consummate professional" and a "tight family man".

"He will add a lot of experiences and leadership to the Broncos I'm sure," he added.

(Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Peter Rutherford)