Karmichael Hunt may not go overseas - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Karmichael Hunt may not go overseas

By Wayne Heming 17/07/2009 08:20:00 PM Comments (0)

Brisbane has cast doubts over whether representative star Karmichael Hunt will walk out on rugby league and play rugby union in Europe or Japan.

Speculation about Hunt's playing future has been roaring since it became known big-spending Japanese and European clubs may be interested in signing him.

Hunt has been disillusioned with life in Brisbane since his involvement in a nightclub investigation with two other Broncos last September.

The Broncos withdrew an offer to him earlier this year which would have made him the equal-highest paid player at the club alongside skipper Darren Lockyer.

Former Wallabies mentor Eddie Jones was reportedly lining up some massive rugby deals which included a stint in Italy or France at the end of the NRL season before playing in Japan, possibly for the wealthy Suntory club of which Jones is coaching director.

However it's believed some of the lavish deals may have fallen through, possibly forcing Hunt to re-think his future.

Hunt said in an interview this month heading overseas was "appealed" to him and his girlfriend Emma.

However he did not want to take the focus off this week's State of Origin game three by announcing his decision.

Brisbane chief executive Bruno Cullen, who spoke to Lockyer about his future on Thursday, said Hunt had not told the club what he was doing.

"Karmichael hasn't confirmed anything," Cullen said on Friday.

"There has been newspaper stories strongly indicating he is (going overseas) but I've heard other stories that suggest perhaps he's not."

Cullen was sure rugby union was interested in Hunt.

"The possibilities would be there but whether he has had a change of mind," Cullen said.

"Karmichael was in a different space with himself earlier in the year about what he wanted to do.

"They may have changed over time as things settled down and he's had a fairly good season.

"I've heard a few stories that might have indicated the kinds of things spoken about may not come to fruition."

Cullen, who has re-signed some of the club's young talent since Hunt turned down Brisbane's best offer, said it would be "extremely difficult" to find money to offer Hunt now.

"We had to take our offer off the table because we had to plan for next year and beyond," Cullen said.

Hunt is on record as saying he would not like to play against the Broncos but if he abandons his overseas plans, that may well happen.

A club like St George Illawarra, coached by Wayne Bennett who developed Hunt from a teenager to Test player, would be very interested in him.

"If he's not here we can't worry too much where he will be. We wanted to keep him obviously," Cullen said.

"The contract we offered him was a very substantial one and he didn't want to stay for that.

"But if he can't do what he wanted to do (overseas) and he has to stay in the NRL and we can't accommodate him, it would be extremely disappointing."

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