Karmichael Hunt was a one-off: Lockyer - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Karmichael Hunt was a one-off: Lockyer

By Wayne Heming 04/02/2010 04:08:06 PM Comments (0)

Darren Lockyer has warned fans not to expect another Karmichael Hunt when Brisbane reveal his fullback replacement in the NRL next month.

"I think there'll only ever be one Karmichael," said Lockyer who handed over the fullback role to the raw 17-year-old when he moved to five-eighth at the request of Wayne Bennett in 2004.

Auditioning for the job following Hunt's off-season departure are Josh Hoffman, 21, Dale Copley, who was 17 when he made his debut for Brisbane last year, exciting prospect Corey Norman, a 19-year-old Lockyer-type who plays fullback or five-eighth and Denan Kemp, the 2008 try-scoring whiz back after a futile season with the Warriors.

Coach Ivan Henjak will use pre-season trials to settle on the youngster to take over the jumper Hunt had owned since his spectacular debut against the Warriors in 2004 as the club's youngest ever player.

Hunt played every game that season, was named Dally M rookie of the year and went on to Queensland and Australia honours.

But he rocked rugby league in July by announcing he was crossing codes to play or the new 2011 Gold Coast AFL franchise for a reported $3 million dollars.

Lockyer said whichever youngster got the nod, they could not be expected to be another "Special K" who was a "one off".

"When Karmichael came on the scene there was the trademark (goose) sidestep and then it became the trademark run straight at you," he said.

"I don't think the kids we're talking about here have that style of play but they're extremely talented and they are all very good athletes.

"K was one of those rare kids, he was a first grader from the very start.

"These guys may talk half a season or more to find their feet and have the confidence to play the way they can play.

"I'm sure we'll find a suitable replacement for K."

Brisbane have a pre-season trial against Brisbane Norths on Saturday but Guy Williams, who will captain the side, is only player with NRL experience.

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