Hands off Karmichael Hunt: Broncos boss - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hands off Karmichael Hunt: Broncos boss

By Wayne Heming 15/07/2008 08:15:02 PM Comments (0)

Brisbane chief executive Bruno Cullen has warned he will take tough action against any rival club jumping the negotiating gun with star fullback Karmichael Hunt.

NRL clubs can't approach the Queensland and Australian fullback until after November 30.

But there's been rumblings the fearless fullback has already been sounded out about his future.

Cullen said if he found out someone had spoken to Hunt he'd report their illegal activities straight to the NRL.

"Nobody is allowed to talk to Karmichael or anyone else for that matter that's playing at our club next year until the 30th of November this year," said Cullen after announcing the club had signed 10 players, headed by NSW Origin halfback Peter Wallace.

"If we start negotiations with him in the very near future we know we've got three or four months' head start on everyone else.

"We want to keep Karmichael and we think we can ... but can we?

"Lord knows, isn't (Mark) Gasnier going somewhere next year? Those sorts of things happen.

Cullen wasn't "fearful" of losing his star players following Gasnier's decision to head to France to play rugby union for huge money.

But he said league administrators should be worried about the English Super League's decision to add two more clubs to its competition.

"There will be a rush on Australian players to fill those two rosters and while it won't be big money, it will be money and opportunities for a lot of players in Australia to move over to England to help those two clubs," he said.

Cullen didn't see Gasnier's decision as a crushing blow for the game in Australia even though he was unquestionably among the best players in the world.

"Australia is blessed with a great backyard of rugby league talent and the old story of one door closing and another opening applies to our game," he said.

"We've got wonderful talent in our juniors. The Toyota Cup has been a bit of a surprise packet to some with some wonderful football played.

"The kids are coming through all the time.

"Are they going to be Gasniers or Lockyers and Andrew Johns's of the world?

"Probably not, they only come along once every 10 years.

"But they will be good footballers who'll fill rosters and we'll get on with playing the game."

Cullen said he was keen to catch up with Darren Lockyer's manager George Mimis "for a chat" about the champion's future.

Cullen is confident he has the money to negotiate with Hunt but there are concerns the Broncos will struggle to also keep Lockyer under the salary cap if he decides to play on in 2010.

"I spoke to Locky's manager yesterday and said when we're in the same area we should sit down over a coffee and start talking about things," said Cullen.

"We'll be into next season very quickly and that's his last season under contract so we need to talk about it."

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