NRL's Hunt to join Gold Coast AFL team - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

NRL's Hunt to join Gold Coast AFL team

29/07/2009 06:13:56 PM Comments (0)

The AFL's first rugby league signing Karmichael Hunt laughed at suggestions his next sporting contract would be to play in the NBA.

But after stunning the sporting world with his left-field switch from rugby league to AFL on Wednesday, anything is possible for the multi-talented Hunt.

"If I can get the attention of the scouts, I'd love to," smiled Hunt, his diamond earring sparkling in the flash of cameras and TV lights at a packed announcement on the Gold Coast as he announced plans to play for AFL newcomers Gold Coast in 2011.

"I don't think I'm tall enough, but I'd love to."

Hunt's bid to become the first player to crack the AFL caught everyone by surprise - including him.

He only decided to be a trailblazer after the third Origin game earlier this month.

"When I heard it, I thought it was a bit of a joke at first as well," grinned the Auckland-born Hunt.

Hunt's well-kept secret impacts on three codes.

Rugby League loses one of it's finest young players, rugby union has been snubbed, except maybe for a cameo overseas stint, while Australian Rules will cash in big time if Hunt's daring career gamble pays off.

The champion fullback, who's played 10 Origins for Queensland, 11 Tests for Australia, more than 100 games for Brisbane and won a premiership all by the age of 22, denied an off-field incident last September influenced his shock code switch.

Hunt and two other Brisbane players were questioned by police lover a sexual assault allegation but no charges were laid.

But there's a perception he became disillusioned by his "fishbowl" existence as a high-profile player in a one team city.

"It's probably going to magnify myself in the limelight, it's probably going to get greater," admitted Hunt.

"I'm not sure I ever said I wanted to get out of the goldfish bowl," he said.

"We're in the limelight daily and scrutinised more than your average Australian but I am ready for any scrutiny."

Hunt's new AFL club believes Hunt the fearless runner and defender has the potential revolutionise the defensive side of AFL

Recruitment director Scott Clayton who spent eight seasons with the Lions in 90s before being employed by the Western Bulldogs, said coach Guy McKenna was very excited by Hunt's power.

"Guy is continually talking about how he can use Karmichael's power," he said.

"His defensive pressure will be huge. He has he power, speed and step to bring the ball away from contested situations like Michael Voss.

Like many, McKenna could have been excused for thinking he was the victim of a prank when Hunt's name was tossed up.

He didn't take much convincing.

"I've followed State of Origin, I know it's not AFL football, but seeing how he moves, seeing how he hits, he's going to bring another dimension to an AFL football team," said McKenna who has the head job until 2011.

"He's powerful, strong, quick and probably averages 23 tackles in a game.

"We're lucky to average 40 in a whole side. He's built for that, built for the physical demands of AFL football."

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