Hunt in another switch - to halfback - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hunt in another switch - to halfback

By Jim Morton 30/07/2009 05:49:42 PM Comments (0)

Code leaper Karmichael Hunt's adaptability will be put to the test immediately by the Broncos who will play him at halfback in Saturday night's crunch NRL clash in Canberra.

With the weight of his Gold Coast AFL announcement taken off his shoulders, Hunt was prepped for a switch of another sort by training in the halves at Red Hill on Thursday.

The star fullback will return from injury alongside skipper Darren Lockyer in the must-win clash at Canberra Stadium after Brisbane coach Ivan Henjak showed his hand at training.

Youngster Josh Hoffman looks set to be rewarded for his impressive showing in the 34-18 loss to the Gold Coast by retaining the fullback role despite Hunt's return.

Rookie Ben Hunt was named to wear the No.7 against the Raiders, with Peter Wallace sidelined, but it was Karmichael who was the Hunt calling the shots with Lockyer.

The 11-Test back's Queensland Origin teammate Sam Thaiday confirmed after training he would start at halfback for the first time in his six-season NRL career.

Thaiday said the move would help put the hype of his left-field AFL signing behind him.

"He trained really well this morning and he's playing halfback this weekend so he has to get his head around that now and I think he has," Thaiday said.

"He's got the weight of everything off his shoulders now and he can just concentrate on finishing the year with us."

In-form back-rower Corey Parker said Brisbane, needing to win at least four of their last six matches to make the finals, were excited by the returns of Hunt and Lockyer.

Lockyer, one of six players who missed the loss to the Titans, ran freely on his heavily strapped knee.

"It's been a while and it was pleasing sign to see Locky back this week and there's been a real buzz since he's been back," Parker said.

"Most of the guys are on their way back which is a good thing for the club.

"(But) just because you have got Darren Lockyer and Karmichael Hunt back doesn't mean you win a game.

"There's a lot of fundamentals that have to be done by 17 guys and we're aware of that."

Prop Joel Clinton is in slight doubt with a groin strain while winger Antonio Winterstein (cork thigh) didn't train with the squad but is expected to play.

Veteran lock Tonie Carroll (knee) trained well to suggest he will line-up.

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