Karmichael Hunt (right) in action in the Brisbane Tens.
Karmichael Hunt (right) in action in the Brisbane Tens. DAVE HUNT

Karmichael Hunt set to repay $1m investment

KARMICHAEL Hunt was a poor $1 million per try investment until his sparkle in this week's trial suggested the Reds will finally get their belated windfall.

The Wallabies blooded 13 debutants last year when "Generation Next" took off and the 30-year-old might have been left behind for good.

The dodgy groin that nobbled him while those Test careers were launched has been surgically repaired but Hunt cannot have a single Wallaby thought in his head.

He owes the Reds.

When coach Nick Stiles said Hunt finally looked like a rugby player again not "a hybrid AFL-rugby player" he was spot on.

When Hunt arrived in rugby as a greyhound from the Gold Coast Suns AFL club in late 2014 he was 89kg and had lost his trademark bumping strength through his hips and gluteal muscles.

In plain language, he'd lost his butt-driven power.

Fullback Hunt ripped in at 97kg on Tuesday night against the Melbourne Rebels when he bumped through a tackle or two and bounced back to try again when he was repelled.

At the 15-minute mark, he put on a nice skip-step and inside pass to back-rower Adam Korczyk on the left flank and, moments later, appeared in support on the other side of the field.

"He's always been a real footballer and he's just worked hard on those rugby instincts," flyhalf Quade Cooper said.

Cooper was clearly looking for Hunt as a passing target and their connection with inside centre Duncan Paia'aua was pivotal to the Reds' best attacking play.

"Of course, I was looking for 'K.' We're trying to build combinations and that one with your fullback is important."

No one should get carried away with Hunt just yet.

He played just 19 of the Reds' 31 games in 2015-16 because of his drug ban and injuries which is what you get out of a veteran's body.

He has scored just a single try in that time and the Fox Sports Lab didn't register a single line break to his name last season.

On $500,000-plus per season, he finally needs some stats to back that up.

Hunt will start at fullback against the Sharks on Friday week at Suncorp Stadium but a wing partner for Eto Nabuli is less clear.

Try-scoring winger Chris Kuridrani closed the selection gap on rookie Isaia Perese with his storming second half in the 32-13 win over the Rebels.

"If you've seen him play over the last year or two he just hasn't looked happy and here you saw a flying Fijian running the ball exceptionally hard," Stiles said.

News Corp Australia


Police calling for help in search for two missing teen girls

Police calling for help in search for two missing teen girls

TEENAGERS last seen at 10pm and thought to be heading to Rocky

Award-winning artist inspired by political activism

premium_icon Award-winning artist inspired by political activism

Activism shapes artist's world

Rockhampton accountant's 35 fraud-related charges

premium_icon Rockhampton accountant's 35 fraud-related charges

Court hears allegations involve falsifying records

Local Partners