Hunt focused on Broncos - for now - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hunt focused on Broncos - for now

By Wayne Heming 31/07/2008 06:04:03 PM Comments (0)

Hot commodity Karmichael Hunt says he is totally focused on playing for Brisbane even though his name continues to be mentioned as a prime target of domestic and overseas rugby union.

NRL rules prevent rival clubs from approaching Hunt, who comes off contract at the end of 2009, until next year.

But Super 14 teams and overseas clubs do not fall under NRL jurisdiction and can sound him out at any time.

While Hunt is a priority re-signing for the Broncos - also facing a dilemma with champion five-eighth Darren Lockyer coming off contract - they admit they could struggle to hang onto the 21 year-old fullback with cashed-up rugby clubs from France circling Australia's league ranks for fresh talent.

Hunt joked he hadn't been brushing up on his French as the Sonny Bill Williams saga rolled into another day.

But he may not have to.

The Queensland Reds are known to have him firmly in their sights with current Wallaby and former Bronco Berrick Barnes singing his praises as a player who would be a rugby sensation.

Barnes, himself just 22, believes the fearless Hunt would be a great addition to the ARU's stable but agreed it would require a "special" offer to lure him away from league.

"K is pretty passionate about his league and pretty passionate about his Broncos," said Barnes, a revelation since switching codes.

"He's physical, he's got pace and he's probably one of the best ball-playing backs in rugby league.

"It would be great if we could. I think it's an exciting time to be part of Australian rugby."

Hunt was giving little away when asked about the difficult decision he would face next year.

Broncos CEO Bruno Cullen said this week Hunt would field offers from rugby in Australia and abroad and English Super League - which would be tough to compete with.

"I do have some big decisions to make, that's obvious," said Hunt.

"But I'm focused on this year and I've still got a year and a half left on my Broncos contract.

"I'll be playing to the best of my ability and whatever happens after that happens.

"For now I'm happy here and there's no French lessons, yet."

Hunt said Barnes's comments were nice to hear.

"Me and Berrick are pretty good mates, we played together at schoolboys and he was at the Broncos for a couple of years early in his career," said Hunt.

"There's a bit of food for thought there but nothing I'm going to stress over."

Of more immediate concern to Hunt is the threat posed by Sunday's in-form rivals Canberra who in their current mood could jolt Brisbane's final four charge.

"They've got hardly any big name players as you guys (media) call them but they're playing for each other," he said.

"They want to go out there and prove a point whether it's to themselves or their coach or their fans and they're doing a great job of it."

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