Karmichael Hunt played his first game in blue against the Hurricanes. Picture: Getty
Karmichael Hunt played his first game in blue against the Hurricanes. Picture: Getty

Banished Hunt’s chance for sweet revenge

If ever a player had a score to settle this weekend, it's Karmichael Hunt, but you won't hear it from his lips.

Banished by Queensland last season, he has found a new home at the Waratahs, where he has been welcomed with open arms.

He has already repaid the faith the Waratahs have shown in him with two impressive performances, raising the prospect he could be a bolter for the World Cup. But rejoining the Wallabies is the last thing on his mind.

Hunt's only focus right now is ­Saturday's blockbuster showdown against the team he once loved but which slammed the door in his face.

He has been around way too long to trash-talk the Reds or spout anything about taking revenge against Queensland coach Brad Thorn, but the 32-year-old also knows he has a unique chance to ram home his point.

"A win would be exactly what I would love," he said.

"I'm still really good friends with the guys I'm playing against, so that's going to be an experience in itself.

"But as always, once the whistle goes there are no friends other than the guys that you're wearing the same colours with."

Hunt could hardly have made a better impression since joining the Waratahs and has already shown himself to be the ultimate team man.

 

Karmichael Hunt in action for the Reds. Picture: Darren England
Karmichael Hunt in action for the Reds. Picture: Darren England

 

He played the first game at inside centre, defending the NSW line strongly against the Hurricanes, then switched to outside centre for the most recent game against the Sunwolves, effectively stopping what would have been a match-winning field goal with a desperate chase to distract the kicker.

"The process of me gaining the ­belief again in myself probably started when I first turned up to the joint," he said. "Seeing the guys, how they were with the coaching staff, seeing some of the performances that I was putting in on the training track and then transferring them into trials and the first couple of games.

"It has given me the belief that I'm back where I belong and I'm just taking the opportunity with both hands.

"I'm forever grateful and just look forward to getting out and competing each week."

Whether it's the Reds, Maroons or even the Broncos, Queenslanders never tire of boasting about their ­undying love of their state colours.

It's the sort of bluster that makes everyone in NSW chuckle or want to throw up and it hasn't taken Hunt long to see first-hand that the passion in the sky blues is just as strong as anything north of the border.

 

Karmichael Hunt training with former Origin teammate Israel Folau. Picture: Brett Costello
Karmichael Hunt training with former Origin teammate Israel Folau. Picture: Brett Costello

"There's a tremendous amount of history in there and I'm proud to be wearing the (Waratahs) jersey," said Hunt, whose only previous appearance at the SCG was with the Gold Coast Suns in the AFL.

"But this weekend's game is against the old foe, who I played all my school footy in the colours, obviously Origin and whatnot.

"So the way I look at it is I'm going to take all that passion and pride and whatnot that I used as a schoolboy in Queensland as a Bronco, an AFL player, an Origin player and just pour it into the NSW jersey this weekend."

News Corp Australia


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